This afternoon, when I picked Lucy and her friend, Rachel, up from school, their teacher leaned in the car window and said, "Rachel accidentally scratched Lucy on the arm with a stick during playtime today. It's OK, a very small scratch, and Lucy knows Rachel didn't mean to hurt her."
Something we're working on daily with Lucy is self-control. She's a very dramatic little girl, which is a lot of fun when it's time to play and read and be creative and is not fun at all when something disappointing happens or when she stumbles and falls down on the sidewalk. There is something about injuries to her little person that set off some trigger inside her that cues the fire-engine wails. I've had her cry for an hour over a miniscule scrape, only to get hysterical all over again when it's time to take a bath in the evening and expose it to warm water. It's...how shall I say...not at all pleasant. So, we're working on not completely losing our cool and going shouty crackers over every little bump, bruise, or hangnail. I've actually had to teach her the meaning of the phrase, "Suck it up," and then directed her to do so. It was my last resort.
So, I could tell when the girls got in the car that even though she hadn't disintegrated as is her usual fashion, she still wasn't ready to let this incident go. We got to Rachel's house to drop her off, and both girls got out of the car to play for a little bit with Rachel's brother and sister. Within a few minutes, her older sister ran over and told her mom, "Mom, did you know Rachel scratched Lucy with a stick??" I quickly explained what had happened, but the damage was done. Rachel was hurt and embarrassed that Lucy had told on her.
After we got home, we barely got in the door and Lucy started to cry. "What's the matter?" I asked her--I really had no idea. "Oh, Mom," she sobbed. "When I told Anna and Cade that Rachel scratched me, that made her feel so bad! I'm sorry I made her feel bad!" She cried and cried. I finally said, "Can you think of anything nice you can do for her that would help make her feel better? Maybe you can call her on the phone and tell her you're sorry." "No," she sniffed. "I'd rather get a piece of paper from Daddy's desk and write her a note." (Hmmm. Wonder where she gets this from?!)
She got the paper and told me what she wanted to say, and I dictated all the letters to her. She wrote, "Dear Rachel, I am sorry I told Anna you scratched me and hurt your feelings. I love you. Lucy." Then I got ready to put it in an envelope, and she said, "Wait, I want to draw a picture of me and Rachel on it." She drew two little girls all in yellow, then took her red marker and put a scratch on one of the girl's arms. "That's me," she said, "with my bloody arm." Ooh-kay.
We walked back over to Rachel's house, and she told me, "When we get there, can I ring the doorbell? Then you can wait for me outside, and I'll go in and give her the letter. It's OK, Mom. I can handle it all by myself." (Hello??? When did this happen?) She gave Rachel (a very forgiving, gracious little girl) the letter, Rachel gave her a big hug, and all was well. They ran down the driveway, swinging hands together.
On the way home, I hugged Lucy and told her I was so happy that she had done the right thing. She said, "On the way there, I was so nervous, Mom. But now I feel good!" Then she said, "Is what I did, saying I was sorry, was that pleasing to the Lord? Is Jesus happy with what I did?" I assured her that He was happy with her, and she said, "That's why I wanted to write to Rachel and say I'm sorry. Because that's what the Bible tells us to do!"
It's no secret that we are big fans of James Macdonald and his radio/online program, "Walk in the Word," at our house. My girls love his theme song (and sing it loudly) "To the left, to the right, I will not go...walk, walk in the Word, walk in the Word, it is the Way" (based on Isaiah 30:21). Within the mayhem and the mundane of life, every once in awhile, we parents get to see a glimpse of the Savior working in our children's lives. Today I got to see the humility of one little girl and the grace and forgiveness of another little girl. I got to see my daughter apply the Bible to her life and hear her wonder if the Lord is pleased with her actions. I'm so thankful on a very average Wednesday afternoon that I got to see Lucy walking in the Word. And I hope this mother will be like her daughter in this way too!