The boys were fighting in the back seat.
“He touched my toy,” or something of that nature.
The argument was done, but Caden was still upset. I could see thoughts of retaliation running through his head. His furrowed brow and pouty lips showed it, too. He was not over this yet.
Finn of course, had stopped whatever he was doing that had bugged Caden and had moved on.
But Caden was still upset.
From the driver’s seat, while peering at him in the rear view mirror, I talked to Caden. ” Calm down, baby; it’s over. Finn has been corrected, Finn said he was sorry, and now you needed to forgive Finn and let it go.”
I realized as the words came out of my mouth that Caden may not understand what the word “forgive” means, much less what he’s supposed to do.
“Do you know what it means to forgive?” I asked.
Caden shook his head no.
In an attempt to boil it down to 5-year-old level I said: “Forgive is when you choose to no longer be mad at someone.”
And in that moment all of my own struggles with forgiveness came into clearer view.
This parenting thing is the greatest teacher I’ve ever had. Teaching something to others forces you to first learn it yourself.