His face is bright red. I try to ignore the sounds of his cry as he throws his head from side to side. I am trying to move as fast as I can, but he is strong and his nostrils are so tiny. I hold his head in my hands and he is mad. I stick the blue thing in his nostril and he gets angrier, there is a change in his cries and in the strength in which he throws himself around.
“I am just trying to help,” that thought bounces around my brain as I wonder how many mothers before me have used those exact words with their babies, toddlers, teens and adult children. And then I am done, he can breathe easily again. The crying ceases immediately. His skin goes from cherry red to silky white. He looks up at me and within seconds he is smiling at me, his coos are loud and solid. He keeps going till I smile back and then as we have a conversation of what just happened, he forgives me and moves on to his toes, the toy of the moment. I’m amazed it has taken him less than 10 seconds from crazy intense emotion to happiness.
crying baby Kol
laughing baby Kol
If only I can bottle that up. Save it for him so when he is older I can show him how easy it used to be to forgive. What a wonder to have someone do something you do not like and then be over it so fast that it leaves no mark on your memory, no mark on your heart. As we grow in life it seems to take us longer and longer to forgive. I see my sister’s children get upset, they hold onto the feeling longer than my baby but after awhile they are easily distracted and they move on. And then we are teenagers, we can harbor pain and resentment for weeks/months/years. I believe that our hormones and changes in our bodies all contribute to the way we prolong forgiveness for what seems like an eternity--especially to our mothers. By the time we start to come into our true selves, by the time we start to figure out who we really are, we have forgotten how to forgive easily.
Imagine if we moved on like our babies move on, if we could somehow remember what it feels like to forgive easily. To know it’s ok to make your feelings heard but then to smile just as quickly. To let your spouse, parents, and friends know within minutes of being angry with them that everything will be ok, that you will not be holding a grudge, and that you still love them. Imagine how freeing that would be!