Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Erring On The Side Of Grace

Yesterday Cora sat on her snack stool at
our breakfast counter, happily drawing a card for a friend while I
cleaned up the kitchen. She had her paper and crayons and a pencil
and was humming a cheerful tune, drawing an elaborate story to
color in.

Cora’s pretty good about only drawing on paper –
she’s not one of those kids who will happily write all over
the wall just for the fun of it. At the same time, she’s got
an independent spirit and if she decides to do something, by golly
she’s going to do it and no consequence is going to stop her.
I have on one memorable occasion caught her cutting up her shirt
and taping it back together: she wanted to see how well the
scissors worked on fabric, and when she discovered their sharpness
(by cutting a large hole in her shirt while still wearing it) she
attempted to patch it with scotch tape so I wouldn’t notice

All this to say that Cora has a bit of a history of doing something
wrong – and knowing it’s wrong – and then trying
to cover it up because she knows she’ll get in trouble.

So when I saw Cora looking down under the
kitchen counter, I became a bit concerned. I came round the corner
to look at the wall, and saw her with a pencil in one hand while
she was attempting to cover up the wall with her other hand.
“Cora, did you write on the wall?” I said sharply.

To Cora’s credit, she nodded a miserable “yes”
right away and didn’t try to lie. Attempting to stay calm and
not lash out, I inhaled and said, “Go to your room and take a

“Ok,” she said, sobbing, as she got off the counter and
started to run up the stairs.

I looked under the counter and saw a jagged pencil line, about an
inch long. It was clearly an accidental mark rather than a
deliberate drawing – she’d probably been holding her
pencil in her hand and unknowingly made the mark. My heart broke.

“Cora, stop please and come back here.”

Immediately she turned around and dragged her feet back to me, her
eyes already red and swollen. I got down on her level and looked at
her. “Cora, did you make this mark on purpose or on

“It was on accident, Mommy, and I’m really
sorry,” she sobbed.

I snatched her fiercely into my arms. “Honey, it is ok. I
forgive you for making the mark on the wall, and I can clean it
off.” I pulled her away to look in her eyes. “Cora,
when I saw you’d marked on the wall I thought you did it on
purpose, and I was angry with you for disobeying me. I’m not
angry with you for accidentally marking the wall. Accidents happen,
sweetheart, and I forgive you. Do you understand?” A relieved
four-year-old threw her arms around me, and my guilt deepened.
I’d immediately assumed she’d done it on purpose, and
she covered it up because she was worried I’d be angry at her

What did I teach her there, assuming the worst right off the bat?
Why did I not gather more information before leaping to the worst
possible conclusion? Am I not teaching her to judge people harshly
as well?

I know I’m partially making too much out of this: she has, in
fact, done exactly what I’d feared in the past. And I know
I’ll make mistakes along the way myself. But one of the
things I hope most to model for my daughters is the grace
I’ve been shown by God, and His instant forgiveness.

I’ve got to keep working on that. And in the meantime, I can
at least show my daughter what it looks like to apologize and seek
forgiveness, even if it’s forgiveness from a


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.