They say that with children, everything can be a teachable moment - to help mold and shape the people they will become. And some believe everything should be a teachable moment. As a parent, I am coming to realize that I have influence and guidance to offer, a responsibility to keep them safe, the opportunity to teach, but that they need the ability to learn. Their amazing personalities, capacities and free will inevitably shine through and guide them.
What I was a little slower to realize is that the teachable moments are just as much for me as they are my children. As in, they teach me how to be a parent. In every day, every moment at their tender young ages, they embody the best characteristic one could ever ask for: Forgiveness.
You see, I'm just as new at being a parent as they are at being a child. I'm learning just as much every day as they are. They may make a mistakes: not share with each other, tip the cup up too far and dump water everywhere, stay awake later out of sheer excitement of what today held or tomorrow may hold. And often, I make mistakes: force them to share as opposed to letting them work it out, get exasperated about another mess to clean up or frustrated that she won't go to sleep because I know she'll be a zombie the next day and fragile like china.
And those mistakes often make me yell, be crabby or just downright annoyed. And I work, day after day, time after time, to hold it together. But I'm human. I'm not perfect - no matter how many blog posts, articles or tips I read on how to be a zen like parent - it doesn't always happen. And I feel badly, when I yell, when I'm short, impatient or just frustrated. Because (most of the time) I know nothing is being done intentionally.
After some tears, some cooling off walks, or some deep breaths, I learn my lesson. The best lesson of all: Forgiveness. It comes in different forms: Snuggles. Kisses. Or an offer of a bunny snack. What ever it is, I'll take it, appreciate it and learn from it.