“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ―Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism
I finally made the decision to get the iPhone 6 plus. The truth is, I vacillated on it because I feared it would be too big and awkward. Once I got it, I was pretty excited and fell in love with everything except talking on the phone (ironic since it’s a freakin’ PHONE! haha). But I love the big screen for Facebook and reading articles and watching videos.
But then I had a little accident.
I was talking to my mom on my new phone (which was still feeling too big and awkward) and I was doing the dreaded…dun-dun-dun…MULTI-TASKING. I was taking my son’s bike off the bike rack on my car – the bungee cord slipped and sprung back and hit my face (not too hard so I was totally okay) but apparently it scared the crap out of me and the phone went flying into the air. Do you know that I have had 4 iPhones and never cracked a screen? But 2 weeks after I get this new phone, it smashed onto the driveway and the screen just shatters. It had shards of glass coming out of it so it was not even usable without slicing my finger.
Breathe, Deb, breathe.
Because I have spent so much time learning how to get to a peaceful inner place quickly, I was able to take a nice breath and calmly tell my mother (the phone still worked miraculously) that I had to go.
But damn-it, I shattered my screen.
I then walked into the house and into the room where my 10-year-old son was playing Xbox and I said “I’m so bummed, look what just happened” to which he looked at the phone and then at me and said “Oh no, mom. How did it happen? That really stinks. Can you fix it?” I later picked up my older son (who is the gadget and technology king) and I said, “Jake, you won’t believe what happened today” he compassionately looked at me and then looked at the phone I was holding up to him and he said “Awww, did you drop it? You must be so bummed. What are you going to do?”
It was then that I realized that I would never ever have been so kind if either of my kids shattered their screens.
I might have said something like “what were you doing when you dropped it? Were you being careful? I knew it was crazy to think that a 10-year-old could take care of an expensive iPhone” or something totally judgey and unsympathetic like that.
But my kids just sympathized with me. They didn’t give me any shit about it. They just felt badly that it happened. Neither one of them told me I shouldn’t have done two things at once. Neither one of them said I should be more careful. Neither one of them told me that I was irresponsible. They just cared. And they taught me something.
I want to be THAT kind of mom that is compassionate instead of crabby.
It doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be responsible to pay the $129 to Apple to fix the screen. But it means that I will be the kind of mom who realizes that mistakes and accidents happen (even to adults) and that they already feel bummed enough, they don’t need me making it worse. I can be more compassionate and less self-righteous. And natural consequences (broken screen=pay to repair) are far more effective than me bitching them out for an accident.
So, do you choose connection or being right?
I know it’s weird backwards thinking, but whenever I make a mistake or mess something up, I take a moment to have gratitude because I have learned that striving to always be right or perfect leads to disconnection. And messing up is part of real life, part of being a human…and being real and human is at the core of connection, acceptance, and love. It took me about 42 years to figure this out, but I want connection, acceptance, and love more than I want to be right (well, most of the time).
How about you? Have your kids shattered their screens or dropped their phones into the toilet? How did you handle it? Be honest 😉