My Personal Sunset in the Garage


Truth Byte #1: “Let the relationship define the moment rather than the moment define the relationship.”

This morning, I was angry. At everyone. But mostly at myself. I knew I should have gone to bed earlier, and I woke up cranky with a full day ahead of me. I rushed around, getting the kids bathed and fed and out the door, only to remember as we were getting into the car that it was pyjama day at my son’s school.

I ran back into the house, grabbed the warmest pair I could find (I am a mom after all!) and jammed them into his backpack. “It’s Pyjama Day, and I forgot. You can get ready at school”, I told him. His eyes welled up with tears, probably because I had forgotten and he had forgotten and now he would be the only one in his class who had to change at school. Or maybe because I picked the wrong ones. Or maybe, like so many kids, he saw that I had that frustrated look on my face and he assumed he had done something wrong. Whatever the reason for that welling, he just nodded and said, “Ok Mom.” I gave him a quick and grateful squeeze and top of the head kiss, jumped in the car and got to the school right as the bell was ringing.

I have moments like this all the time. Moments where I am frantic, and rushing, and hoping against hope that my kids, my husband, my friends, my parents will forgive me for forgetting, for screwing up, for saying the wrong thing, for rushing through an opportunity to connect. And thank Heaven I have a forgiving and understanding circle of love around me.

My relationships define my moments.

I have a lot of not-so-pretty moments. And if those I love let these moments define our relationships, our circle would be a fractured, fragmented, unraveling mess rather than the tight and colourful tapestry of love and laughter that we are.   They forgive me, they try not to take my shortcomings personally, they let me be human. Because at the end of the day, I can’t really remember all the glorious sunsets I have seen. But I do remember who was with me as I watched them.  Events get blurry in my memory, but the relationships stand out.

This morning in the garage, that quick squeeze of understanding and apology became our personal sunset. My son made our relationship more important than my momentary mistake, and in a split second he moved from sadness to forgiveness. If a six year old can do it, so can I.  And so can you.