The other morning Josiah and Naomi were doing their normal pretend play after breakfast and I heard Josiah speak a bit crossly to Naomi. As I stood washing the dishes, Naomi ran into the kitchen and buried her face in my leg whimpering that Josiah hurt her feelings and said mean things to her. Right behind her came Josiah declaring his innocence. I sighed and looked them both in the eyes. I had heard what Josiah said and he did not say anything wrong but the tone was displeasing to me nonetheless. I simply reminded him that even though his words were not mean, the way in which he spoke was hurtful. I hugged Naomi and reminded her that she controls whether she lets her feelings be hurt or not. And there was no need for her to be so dramatic. (which has been a theme for the last couple of weeks.) Off they went and that was that.
About an hour later, we were making a fruit smoothie. Whenever the blender goes on, the kids cover their ears and stare at the swirling fruit become pulverized. Thirty seconds after the blender began Josiah starts to yell above the blender motor, "Can you stop it?! Mom! Can you stop the blender?!" And then I saw it. A wash of conviction had fallen over his face. I had already forgotten about the morning's first infraction but as soon as I saw his face, I knew what was going on within him. It is that subtle nagging within your spirit that even though unintended, you hurt the feelings of someone you love. And you cannot rest until you make emends even though the offended party has moved on and even though you did not really "do' anything wrong. Yet there still remains unfinished business and your conscience will not let it go until you make it right.
He took a deep breathe and looked at Naomi and said, "Naomi, I am sorry I spoke harshly to you earlier." Naomi, who I am sure had forgotten all about it until he brought it up again, beamed at him and quickly retorted, "That's okay. I mean, I forgive you, Josiah." And she reached up and gave him a huge hug. Josiah cupped his chubby hands over his ears, looked at me and said, "Okay Mom. We're ready." I smiled and turned the blender on again. I think my heart was whirling with pride faster than the fruit smoothie concoction spinning before me.