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The Look on Her Face

Friday evening, I called Londo on my way home from work, as I do every evening. As usual, there was chaos in the background.

At one point, Londo told me to hold on a minute as he turned his attention to our daughter. He told her that she wasn't supposed to just take things and that what she had was Mommy's necklace. So she asked if she could wear it, and he in turn asked me if she could.

It had been a long time since she had played with (and consequently broke) any of my necklaces, and she was older now. So I said yes, but added, "Just make sure she's careful and doesn't play with it for long." Londo agreed and passed that information on to the Pumpkin before getting off the phone with me to deal with dinner.

When I got home, my daughter came hurrying down the hall to the front door. I was ready to hear the usual, and never unappreciated, "Mommy! Mommy! You're home! You're home!"

But I quickly realized that she wasn't saying her normal greeting. I tuned in more carefully and realized she was saying, "Mommy! I was playing with your necklace, and I broke it by accident. I'm sorry!"

When I realized what she was saying, I felt my face start to fall for a split second. I loved that necklace and was really disappointed that yet another necklace I liked was broken. But in that split second that my face started to fall, her face quivered. Her whole body was poised, waiting on my reaction, ready to fall into despair at my disappointment.

So I swallowed it. And just in time. I recovered in a blink of an eye, maybe less. I gave her an only slightly sad smile, squatted down to her level and told her, "That's okay, honey. I'm sure it was an accident. Thank you for telling me and telling me you are sorry."

"It was an accident. And I am sorry," she told me, with hope clearly showing on her face.

"I know, sweetie. Hey, maybe we can buy Mommy a new necklace to replace the broken one. We'll go shopping soon and look for a new one!" And that, plus a hug, did the trick. Her whole being brightened, and she kept talking about how we'd shop for a new necklace for Mommy. We walked down the hall into the kitchen together in good spirits.

Londo told me shortly after we got in the kitchen that the Pumpkin had been SO upset that she broke the necklace and that she was really worried that I'd be upset or mad. I could tell just by the quiver of her body and the look on her face before I hid my disappointment.

But as Londo pointed out to the Pumpkin, I really was glad that she told me and apologized. I wasn't expecting that greeting, but I quickly realized that my 3 year old was doing a really brave thing, meeting me at the door to fess up and say she was sorry. Even if I can't restring the necklace or find a new one, I will always be so proud of the courage my daughter showed, and how she was able to do the right thing even when she was so afraid that I'd be upset.


Anonymous said…
mom2boy said…
I love moments like that. Not that your favorite necklace was broken but that you could see big picture in an instant and give your daughter what she needed and appreciate her bravery in the moment. It's a great feeling as a parent, I think.
Anandi said…
Bummer about the necklace, but you may be able to find someone who can either repair it or make it into something else, and then you'll have this great memory to go with it (about how everyone handled this so well!).

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