A friend of mine, let's call her Mommy Matters is not an over-acting, over-protective mother to her son and daughter. No, she is not. She told me about an incident though that has deeply wounded her as a mother.
Several months ago, her kids were invited to participate in a big school production of her high school class homecoming. Her kids both play the violin. The piece was simple enough and her kids were ready even before the first rehearsal. They were to play with other kids of her classmates. For some reason only one more kid and Mommy Matters' kids could get the piece. Anyway, pressure was building as show date neared and a classmate of Mommy Matters, Wendy who had so willingly given her time to the production was at the helm of the kids' little number as well and all of a sudden picking on Mommy Matters kids during practice. Why pick on them when they knew the piece already? She even went to the point of insulting Mommy Matters' daughter in front of the other kids.
When Mommy Matters got home from rehearsals that night her kids who went home earlier were fast asleep. She found out from her husband that the kids came home very upset; the boy wanted to punch someone and the girl was in tears over the badgering they got from Tita Wendy. She did mot know what to do nor want to do anything at that point. She just wanted to know the whole story and not react right away because in reality she was mad as hell.
The next morning, she calls up her mom to tell her about it. When Mommy Matters heard her mom's voice over the phone, she started to cry. Mommy Matters' mom was furious. Her mom reminded her that this classmate of hers has never been the nicest person to her and she allowed her to treat her like that for the longest time. (she did mot give me why or details.) Her mom then told her this time to stand up for her kids. Wendy has gone too far.
So my friend informed the head of their homecoming production that her kids were no longer participating. That very same day she goes to practice and of all people was welcomed with a hands up gesture from Wendy saying, " I was kind. I swear I was kind." No apologies, a denial even.
Before that Mommy Matters tried to approach their other classmates who were leading the production actually just to reach out and for her kids to be understood. She was surprised when she got reactions like 'it was just nerves' and ' No, Wendy did not do that.' Meaning her kids were liars?
Mommy Matters danced her heart out at her homecoming production. She almost didn't show up at all. At the end of the show when everyone was elated, happy and in tears, my friend was also in tears. She cried her heart out for her kids and her family who had to be hurt by all this. She cried for how touched she was with the love she felt from her closest peers of 25 or so years who were happy, mad and sad with her at that one crazy same time.
She stood up for her kids. Was that bad? She showed them not to let people get away with treating them the wrong way. Is that wrong? At the same time her kids learned that grown-ups can be so wrong and lie sometimes. That is the real world for them, right? My friend learned more deeply who her true friends are, those who cared and believed her young children's story, who listened to her, fought with her cried with her. Such a gift.
Many lessons learned indeed. Even in our forties, people around us can still change because people change. Sometimes we need to let go. My friend decided to shy away from anything of her high school class for now.
My friend is a lot of things like an alumna of her beloved Alma Matter but at that very time when her kids needed her most, she had to be the best mother she could be.
Every opportunity to teach a valuable lesson to our children is God teaching you to do so and we, as parents need to grab it. Every opportunity God shields us from those that have been hurting us, God is saying. enough.
As for forgiveness? We did not talk about that. I know she has but not forgetting is not 'not forgetting' rather a decision to just stay away.