together at last

You’d think after 14 years of being a Mom I’d be done making rooky mistakes. Nope. I made {another} one recently. The kind you don’t even notice yourself making in the hustle and bustle of the day, until everything goes sideways and you think you’ve just shattered your child’s heart.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We should start at the beginning.

We were in the pre-vacation rush and I had packed the beloved Bear-Bear and equally cherished companion Tigerly Jump-Jump into the luggage.

More accurately, I had snuck them in. Eleanor had packed her bag and as we were tucking her in for the night, I quietly slipped them in right on top. My logic was sound—if she slept with them {as she has done every. single. night. since infancy} we were more likely to accidently leave them behind when we woke up at 2:30 a.m. to catch our flight. At least, that was how I explained it to her when mere moments after closing her door I hear from the other side “Mooooommm, what did you do with them?” She doesn’t miss a thing, that girl.

The flight from SeaTac to Denver, uneventful. No problem. The flight from Denver to our final destination? 4 gates. 3 planes. 2 crews. 1 boarding. 1 unboarding. Then nothing. Nothing but a cancelled flight. Followed by a very long line. We finally were given a new flight that left 29 hours after the original one should have. Which meant taxis and hotel rooms and….luggage? No. No luggage. The luggage was lost.

Bear-Bear and Tigerly Jump-Jump? They were somewhere in the bowels of Denver International Airport.

At this point in our story, it would have been entirely understandable if everyone, especially Eleanor, had melted down in epic proportions. And yet, she didn’t.

Yes, there was a quivering lip. Yes, there were tears on her cheeks. Yes, you could practically see her heart snap inside her chest. But there was no blame.

“It’s okay Mama. Even if we don’t see them ever again, I forgive you.”

These two stuffed animals {stuffies, as she calls them} are arguably her two most prized possessions in the whole world. And I was responsible for losing them. {well, me and UnitedCoughAirlinesCough}. Yet Eleanor was ready to forgive me on the spot. No hesitation.

Absolutely grief and absolute forgiveness. It’s something we un-learn in adulthood.We hold on to grudges. By the end of the day we have a litany of the infractions against us. It is burdensome to keep carrying them. It adds to our exhaustion.

What if we took a vacation from blame? What if, every day, every moment, we forgave as our children do?


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Forgive like a child. With your whole heart. Unabashedly. And don’t forget to pack the really important stuff in the carry on.

The happy ending epilogue? Luggage was found.

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