I wanted to save her. My daughter and I left the house early for an 8am appointment. She was getting her hair colored (don't judge me), but agreed to pay for it with the money she had saved. We were no more than a mile from the house when she gasped, "Mom! I forgot my money!" Typically my goal is to remain calm and throw some "Love & Logic" on her with a "Oh no, what are you going to do?".....but I didn't. I got mad. I hit the brakes as my brain hit the brakes. I sighed heavily. I raised my voice. "Emme! <insert heavy breathing> How could you do that? We have an appointment and can't turn back! What DO YOU EXPECT ME TO DO?!?!"
She got quiet.
I caught myself in the middle of her problem and I really wanted to save her. We drove in silence for the next few minutes. I remembered I was getting my paycheck at the gym that morning and could technically use the cash to pay her bill. But she needed to figure it out on her own. I didn't offer this option. It was killing me.
I felt so yucky for getting angry. After all, if I wanted to use the teachable moment to cultivate the problem solving skills in her, I had to let HER solve the problem. I apologized for getting angry. She accepted.
The hair lady said "No problem! Bring the money some other time." I dropped her off to head over to gym to open up and coach the 9am class.
Proud of myself for getting her to her appointment on time (I hate being late. More on that in another blog) and myself to work early, I pulled in.
I FORGOT MY KEY.
The conviction dropped on me hard. I had gotten so angry. I let my emotions tell me what to do in that moment. Truth is, she didn't forgot she had to pay. She didn't expect me to bail her out. She just forgot. Sometimes that happens with the most responsible of folks.
Grace is a beautiful thing. It's getting something you don't deserve. The gym owner drove over and unlocked the door for me. No anger. No lecture. Just grace.
In that moment with my daughter I realized, the MOST important thing was to keep a heart connection with her WHILE using the teaching opportunity. I apologized. She accepted. I paid her bill at the hair salon. She paid me back when we got home. I shared my forgotten key story with her. No big deal, right?
I'd say it was a good day.