When I woke up the first-grader, she felt and looked feverish. Was that why she had slept so restlessly? She had wanted to come into our bed and had then tossed and turned all night. I felt I had hardly slept at all. I took her temperature, gave her some medicine and made breakfast.
I informed the girl’s teacher about her absence. Then I changed the diaper of our one-year-old baby, gave him breakfast, and began to clear the table. The mess that the kids had made again! I know only lazy people count their chores, but I was dreaming of a moment when I could sit down for breakfast at a tidy table and read the morning paper – or well, at least leaf it through quickly. There was no such moment that morning.
I have been a mother for nearly 19 years, which means that I am somewhat used to postponing my own nee fulfillment. Sometimes I don’t feel at all bad about it, sometimes I do. This was one of the mornings when I did feel bad about it.
The feverish patient needed attention and tender care, she needed water and more blankets. The one-year-old needed whatever he could think of: He wanted to stand on a chair, he wanted to feed the guinea pig HIMSELF! He wanted to play with his big sister’s phone and daddy’s tools. He wanted to be held and to help fill the dishwasher, no, he wanted to walk and rummage through the kitchen cabinets. He wanted water and some melon, no, he meant apple, no, he meant a cookie, yes, he wanted a cookie. “Gimme cookie”! he demanded.
I spoke some serious words: "This is really getting on my nerves. I am like your servant. I haven’t even had time to have breakfast because I need to pamper you all the time.” The one-year-old listened to me with his head cocked and his eyes round with astonishment. Then he walked up to me, hugged my legs and said: “Mommy, forgive!”
The first-grader and I looked at each other in amazement. What on earth had he done?! ”How can a baby know how to ask for forgiveness,” the first-grader wondered. I picked up my baby, said all was forgiven, flopped on the sofa next to the first-grader, and we all burst out laughing.
The baby smiled triumphantly at the impact of those magic words. Mommy was no longer angry, not in the least. She had not expected him – or anyone else for that matter – to ask for forgiveness.
Patients should be allowed to be patients and a little miserable, and babies always demand things, often just to test their mothers. And mothers should help and serve others and sometimes take a break from serving to see about their own needs.
But I was very, very happy! I was happy because I thought our baby had seen instances of forgiveness in our home. He must have seen the consequence of forgiveness: it makes miracles, it changes the atmosphere!
Text: Virpi Mäkinen
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original finnish blog post here.
Raamatun mukaan jokainen Jumalan valtakunnan jäsen on avoin lähetyskirje omassa toimintaympäristössään (2. Kor. 3:2–3). Tämä asia voi olla kipupiste uskovaiselle ihmiselle, sillä henkilökohtaisesta uskosta puhumiselle on korkea kynnys nyky-yhteiskunnassa.