Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Baby Forgiveness

"To err is human; to forgive is divine."
-Alexander Pope

Today's Favorite of the Day actually deals with a topic that is very difficult for me, and moms everywhere, I'm sure. As moms, we want to be perfect all the time. We want to believe that we can give our child(ren) everything good in the world, and somehow protect them from everything bad in the world as well. Unfortunately, not only are we unable to protect them from everything bad, sometimes we are the source of the bad! 

Of course it's always unintentional, but crazy things happen with babies, no matter how careful we try to be. They fling themselves out of your arms and fly face first into the floor. You accidentally bonk their head on the way in or out of the car. You clip that fingernail a little too closely and end up drawing blood. You lay the baby on a cool beach blanket tent that your mother-in-law gave you and while trying to shift the blanket, you kick up a bunch of sand into your baby's eyes.
I have done all of these things. At first, Gemma would scream bloody murder. I would immediately respond by picking her up, holding her close, kissing whatever bumps and scrapes she received, all while crying hysterically. I swear, I cry harder when Gemma gets hurt than she does. After cuddling and or nursing her for a few minutes, she is completely over it. No longer crying, she's moved onto the next activity and could care less about what happened five minutes earlier. 

I, however, require intensive therapy to get over the trauma. I literally cried for three hours the first time I banged Gemma up. I was SO sad that I caused her to cry, even if she only cried for a few minutes. I kept snuggling her and apologizing to her. At some point, I quit my sniffling, looked Gemma in the face, and smiled. She looked back at me and beamed this enormous smile at me. Of course, she couldn't speak to me in words, but that smile spoke directly to my heart. That beautiful, toothless smile said more in the way of forgiveness than a thousand "I forgive you"s ever could. It was a special moment; a special connection. 

Too bad I couldn't forgive myself as easily! I was still shaken up about it for days. Eventually, over time, it all fades a bit, but I will never forget that day! Gemma, on the other hand, completely forgives and completely forgets. A little over a week ago, Rocky had his first run-in with an accident resulting in Gemma getting a few bumps. He. Was. Devastated. Of course, I'm home with Gemma everyday, so by this point, I was an old pro at the experience. I assured him that it's okay, accidents happen, and Gemma will be over it long before he would.

Later on that night, we were all cuddling, and he was just looking down at Gemma who was merrily busying herself with her hands. He said something that I'll never forget. He said, "She's just like God." He was referring to her ability to forgive so easily, to forget so quickly, and to move on so happily.

It's such a blessing to live with this gentle, little person who teaches me so much about God's love for us. I'm learning something new everyday, and I am so grateful.


  1. Just think, you'll remember and tell these stories long into her adulthood. My family still teases my dad about the time he turned away from the changing table to grab a diaper and I rolled off. I have wonderful timing since that was the first time I ever rolled over! The good news is, while I bled impressively, I was fine. But you're right, my dad felt much worse than I did. And we still tell the story 24 years later.

  2. Ha! It's so true! Babies really are tough little cookies. We also still tell the story of the time my little brother rolled right off the couch when my mom AND I were right next to him! To this day it's a mystery how it happened, but a great story nonetheless!


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