MISTAKES

Tom was recently editing a scene where two girls confront a third about saying something mean. There are many levels present in the scene, including the social pecking order that tempted L to say the mean thing: wanting to ingratiate herself, but having the opposite result.

What I am pondering right now is the moment when L, crying and overcome by the way things have spiraled out of control, emotionally admits she made a mistake. All present then acknowledge that at one time or another they have also. I say: “I’ve made more mistakes that you can possibly imagine!” The girls all nod, with R adding something to the effect that at my age I have had many more years to make mistakes. So true!!!

Well, last week I really made a dumb mistake that I am still recovering from. I was left in charge of the school barnyard while everyone was away on a camping trip. Thumper, the new bunny is very hard to catch, and in the process of getting her to go into her hutch, I tried to corner her in the chicken cage. By the time I finally got her put away, I had forgotten that the chickens’ gate was still open. I didn’t remember until I returned to a scene of carnage the following morning. All 4 of our sweet pet chickens had been killed. It was an awful moment.

I dreaded the children returning. No matter how much I told myself that these things happen, that I needed to forgive myself, I was not getting there. But predictably when I came to be with them on the day they found out, while they mourned the loss tearfully, they forgave me easily. When a child, who has a much bigger loss in her own life, put her arms around me and just held me silently and kindly, I felt the guilt wash off.

I would not wish this on anyone, and yet now there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that I make mistakes, and that I can be forgiven, as can each of them. Whew.

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