A mid-week post! I know... it's shocking! But this couldn't wait - and I really wanted to write it all down so I would remember it! :)
It happened today at Reece's ballet class. That in itself is significant because ballet has not gone well the last two years. This is her 4th year of ballet - and last year she missed the first part of the year because she cried every day and I pulled her out. After Christmas she asked to go back and they hadn't ordered costumes yet so she could return. But it was challenging for her - the girls in that class were a year younger, and she had been dancing with them since she was 4, but they were getting socially sophisticated REALLY fast. They were leaving her in the dust. And the class was also faster-paced, and even though she is a great dancer, it was too much.
So this year we sadly moved her back another year, with girls who are 2 years younger. I really thought it was going to be "the answer". But it hasn't been. She is handling all the skills just fine, possibly because she did them last year, but the pace is still too much. It has been an enormous struggle, and she has had meltdowns in just about every single class. And since these girls have not "grown up" with her like the other class did, they have not been very kind.
So today we were on our way to class, and Reece didn't want to go, as usual. And I didn't want to take her, as usual. But the recital is coming, and she needs to learn her dance.
Reece started to complain about her "ex-friend" (There has been some animosity between herself and a girl who teased her a few weeks ago.). We started talking about forgiveness, and the Fruits of the Spirit. They are learning about the Fruits of the Spirit in children's church, and we've been memorizing that verse, plus a verse about compassion and forgiveness (that last one isn't just for Reece's benefit but for ALL of us). I told her that God wants us to forgive those who hurt us, not just one time, but seventy times seven - as many times as we must.
Reece said, "I'm not ready to forgive her." I told her that was fine... sometimes it takes awhile before we're ready to forgive. But that she still needs to be kind (she's been saying mean things back to this little girl, and it's been quite a disaster).
So she went to her class and I was busy reading, and showing my old cloth diapers off to a couple of the moms who use CDs, and before I know it, the class was over. Reece came to me immediately and said, "You will be SO proud of me! I told B that I was sorry, and I asked her to forgive me. She said yes, and then she told me she was sorry, too. And now we are friends!"
To say I was thrilled was an understatement! And Reece was SO proud of herself! I asked her if she felt good now, and she said yes, and I told her that's why I think it's so important to forgive... because it lightens your own heart!
Then her dance teacher came to tell me the details: Reece did, in fact, initiate the apology and she was very specific about the things she had done that weren't kind and that she was sorry for. And then the other girl was very specific about the things SHE had done and that SHE was sorry for. Miss Dorinda said it was so sweet, she cried while she watched it unfold!
I'm so proud of my Reece. And I'm kind of proud of myself, too. I worry so much about leading my children in their walk as Christians, because I am still such a new Christian myself. And I feel like I have so much to learn, so much I simply do NOT understand. But I've purposed to just talk about things "as we go along in our day" (that's from Deuteronomy I believe) and then I am just trusting that God will give me the right words at the right time, and that He won't let me lead them astray. And then if I do say the wrong at some point, that He will correct me, so I can instruct my children in the right way. And that in itself can be a great lesson.
So this is one of those things that I have to write down because I need to be able to read it later to reflect on it and remember that there are lots of good things that come out of even these difficult circumstances!