Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Like Romeo & Juliet. But for Kindergarten.

I can hold a grudge. I know, I know. It isn't very Christian of me. But, despite my love of Jesus I'm not exactly the bestest Christian ever so I live with it. And keep working on it.

But, there are times in my life when I really wish I could learn to let go. If you know me IRL, then you know one of my favorite phrases is "it's the principle of the matter" when describing my anger toward a perceived injustice. I'm a principle crusader.

Nine years ago Thomas and I went to pre-marital counseling. Which turned into counseling between us, my parents, & my sisters. All of us saw the same counselor. At different times in various combinations. At one point (I'm not even kidding) she talked to my parents about starting counseling at their manufacturing plant with their employees. She had quite the racket convincing all of us to come in several times a week at $90 an hour. The whole thing (I think) was a bit unethical of her. She was (in my opinion) a terrible, terrible counselor. And my husband and I chose to elope as a direct result of our counseling sessions and the chaos created by all of us seeing one counselor and getting conflicting advice & stories. Our family relationships were not restored until we all got out from under her "care" and actually talked to each other without professional help.

Okay, in case you were wondering, that is me holding back. A LOT.

So, since then I've moved on. (Can you tell?) Yes, I've called the church that referred us to her and informed them of her unethical practices. And they called & let her know I complained. She assured them she couldn't think of a single reason I would have been unhappy. Thankyouverymuch, oh unnamed church, for the way you handled that.

Fast forward 9 years and when I let myself think about it I'm still a bit sore about the whole thing. Yes, I've moved on. My husband and I are happy. We have a beautiful family. My parents & sisters and I have wonderful rich relationships. I should let it go. But, it's the principle of the matter.

God, however, is a funny guy. Because last week I went into Kai's homeschool academy for a mom meeting and sat down right across from one very familiar face. (And it wasn't a friendly one.)

I sat through the whole meeting barely hearing the teacher and marveling at my dumb luck. And then went out to meet Thomas & the kids and got ready to tell him all about my discovery. But, I was interrupted by Kai telling me all about her new bestest friend in the whole wide world, B-----. We knew she'd been playing with B----- for the last few weeks. What we didn't know was B-----'s name. And that day we'd promised her a slushy if she would go to school learn her best friend's name and report it back to us. (We think it's important to remember the names of our best friends around here.)

"Mommy, mommy! I remembered my best friend's name! It's B-----!"

In case you're wondering, yes, that is the name of the dreaded counselor's daughter. My daughter's bestest friend is the friend of my enemy. Oh. the. irony.

I'll admit. The first thing I wanted to do was tell Kai not to play with her new best friend. (Yes, I know that is yucky of me.) But, I resisted the urge to spread the poison to my 5-year-old. I like to call that progress.

But, this lady & I are going to have to learn to coexist in this tiny class of 12. Which means I've got some forgiving to do. And that just doesn't come easy to me. I don't like letting people off the hook. (Though please feel free to let me off the hook whenever I commit some wrong against you. I'm nice & hypocritical that way.)

I'm going to learn to be bigger than this thing. I'm going to take the high road. Because, after all, that is the principle that actually matters.

This forgiveness thing is SO a work in progress. I'm sure you'll be hearing more before this school year is over. In the meantime, if you have forgiveness stories and advice to share, I'm all ears...


mama hall said...

eew...you're in a sticky spot. i'm pretty sure God did this on purpose. sometimes it helps to forgive someone by saying it outloud- not even TO the person you're forgiving- but just say it. you could be ALONE in the bathroom and just say outloud "I forgive you for causing chaos in my family." if you say it, you will eventually think it, if you think it, you will eventually believe it.

as for seeing her & interacting with her, who says you have to? we don't have to like the parents of who our kids like ...thank goodness! :)

StacieinAtlanta said...

Can you move?

Ha ha ha.

Man, that is seriously a tough one but I do agree with the previous poster about having to interact with her. Who says that you have to?

Rachel said...

I feel for you! Forgiveness is such a difficult road. However, the fact that you realize you need to come to terms with your feelings so your daughter isn't affected by them leads me to believe that you'll make it to the end.
I have such a hard time with forgiveness myself. I'm not certain that the whole forgive and forget term is possible. I mean, a person can come to terms with a situation and forgive someone for past actions, but the memory of the incident is always there, and it will always colour the way you interact with that person in some form or another.
I think you are taking such a mature stance on this. Your daughter is lucky to have you as a mother. :)