Friday, April 6, 2012

"I'm SO sorry"

You often hear references to those "three little words" we all want to hear and the implication is often that it is "I love you". While I agree that those are VERY important words that I say and hear no less than a dozen times a day, I think that almost as important are the words, "I'm so sorry". I don't mean apologizing for something you did wrong--although you should and without prompting and with sincerity--but just the acknowledgement that you ARE sorry for what is happening to someone.

I was inspired by this the other day when I was waiting for some food I had ordered. A family came into the restaurant where we were and as the little boy came in, his fingers got caught in the door. If you have ever had this happen to you, you know it hurts TERRIBLY. It really, really hurts. I have had it happen to a couple of my kids--once to Jasmine when she was about four and once to Coryn when he was six. It really hurts--there are a lot of nerves right there. So this little guy (he was about 8-9) yelled and then began crying. For the next ten minutes, the rest of the family (dad, two older brothers and a sister) argued about whose FAULT it was that it happened. No one took the time to just wrap their arms around the little guy and tell him "I am SO sorry!" I was aggravated . . . .

Have you ever seen adults do that do kids when they cry? Oh, you're okay . . . . you're fine . . . . no need to cry . . . or just ignore them completely? I cannot fathom that. I always tried to respond to my kids with, "I know it hurts and I am so very sorry. It will get better." And then I would hold, hug, get ice, band aids and of course, kisses. I remember once when Jasmine was in the woods on a tire swing at Grandma's house and it swung into a tree. It hurt and it was scary! I heard her yell all the way in the house. My mother in law went after her since I was holding a nursing baby at the time and I heard her tell Jasmine, "Oh, you're okay honey. Stop crying." I know she meant well, but it wasn't comforting. I sat down with her, we cuddled, she cried and I told her how sorry I was that she had gotten hurt and scared. Isn't that how we, even as adults, would want to be treated?

When I see a child that has gotten hurt physically or even emotionally, I want to reach out and just say, I am SO sorry. When my friend recently lost her husband of 35 years, I said the same thing. We cannot stop the pain, but we can let people know we care and we are sad for them. And certainly we owe our children that!

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