Mommy, can you forgive me?
“Mommy, can you forgive me?” my son asked as we drove home last night.
“For what, sweetheart?”
“For being on red.” He hadn’t listened well at preschool.
I told him that didn’t require forgiving. We all have days where it’s a little harder for us to listen, I said, though we should always try.
Tonight, he asked if he could have pizza. “Not tonight,” I told him.
“Why not? Is it a privilege?”
“That’s right. It’s–”
“I didn’t lost any privileges today!” he exclaimed, already forgetting about pizza. “Wahoo!”
I thought about wide angle parenting. “You sure didn’t,” I told him, smiling. An afternoon on red is but a blip in a lifetime of opportunities to be on green. If occasionally hyperactive, my son is happy, loving, and compassionate. At the age of four, he already understands the difference between “right” and “privilege” in a way some adults still do not.
Can I forgive him? There’s no need today. If tomorrow calls for genuine forgiveness, though, I hope I will remember the sweetness of his forgiveness often and freely given, as well as the quiet, magical moments we shared today.