Yesterday, something happened that I'm not very proud of. While your lunch cooled on the counter behind me, I rinsed the dirty dishes in the sink, singing and laughing with you while you played at my feet. Suddenly, I heard your plate hit the floor, and whipped around to see the cats greedily chowing down on your lunch. In anger and frustration, I shouted as my foot hastily shot out toward the cats, grazing Nala's back end.
Who am I kidding? Let's not sugar coat this. I kicked the cat.
|Nala with Delilah @ 8 Months Old|
I scooped up your tiny body, trembling with fear and sobs, and I told you that Mama was wrong to do that. I crouched down with you in my arms to gently pet Nala and tell her that I was sorry, and that I was wrong to kick her. I explained to you as simply as I could that I was angry at Nala and Rowdy for ruining your lunch, but that what I did wasn't okay, and that it is never okay to hurt animals or people on purpose. As tears filled my own eyes, I apologized for scaring you and the kitties.
I made a mistake, and it is weighing heavy on my heart. I remember witnessing violence towards animals when I was a child myself. I remember how helpless and confused I felt. It gives me great distress to think that I made you feel those things. There is nothing that will make what I did okay. That said, I hope that by taking the time to apologize and calmly explain that what I did was wrong, what you take away from it will not be fear and anger. I hope that what will stay with you is that I admitted my mistake and tried to make amends for it.
Like all humans, I make mistakes. You are going to see some of those mistakes, and they might be hard for you to understand. Still, as your parent, it is my duty to quickly admit my mistakes and explain how and why my actions were wrong. It is my responsibility to teach you that we must try to learn from our mistakes and do everything in our power to make things right.
I'm sorry I kicked your kitty, and I'm sorry I scared you, but in the end, I'm not sorry that you saw it. What you saw was not merely an act of violence with no purpose or explanation, but the process of making a mistake, realizing it, and trying to make it better. I can't promise you that I will never react poorly out of anger again, but I can promise you that I will always make every effort to be an example of making the best of every mistake.