Last night my daughter accidentally locked the door to her room, and then shut the door. Problem was, nobody was in the room to unlock it. I was downstairs at the time, but heard a frantic, “Zoe, what did you do?” from Eamon. Then I heard big sobs shaking out of Zoe. I came up the stairs and she met me halfway, looking at me with big, wet eyes and a splotchy, red face and quivered, “Do you still love me?”
It stopped me in my tracks. Where did she get the idea that doing something wrong, most notably an unintentional wrong, would mean we’d stop loving her? Am I raising a perfectionist? Did I not teach her about forgiveness?
We got the door open thanks to a child safety pinhole that popped the lock easily. Problem solved, but Zoe was another story. We had a quick mother-daughter talk that I hope she will remember, stressing there’s nothing you can do that will stop me from loving you.
Her question about love remains on my mind this new year. We are so hard on ourselves, especially with the dawn of a new calendar. I must be more productive! I need to start running again! [Insert your resolution here.] There’s nothing wrong with self-improvement, but let’s make a collective pact that whatever the end result, we love ourselves anyway.