Love means never having to say you’re sorry?

March 14, 2009 at 5:09 am (Uncategorized)

Apologies to Love Story fans, but I don’t buy it. I think the more you love someone, the more willing you are to admit you’re human, and ergo capable of screwing up

I remember a while back, longer ago than I care to admit, when Riley was moving from her crib to a big girl bed. It was a big adjustment for all of us. Riley relished being able to get out of bed and see what was going on in the grown-ups’ world after hours. Once, when we were on vacation with friends, I think we counted seven separate farewell appearances by a little sprite in fleece jammers. At first it was pretty cute, but it got old very quickly. One night when Sam was out of town, I really lost patience with Riley after her umpteenth visit, and I told her if she didn’t stay in her bed, I would get the baby gate  and put it up in the doorway to her bedroom. Of course she got out of bed again and so I went and got the baby gate and put it up. Much weeping ensued. Much. On all sides. It was awful. I felt repulsive about essentially imprisoning her, and I went back upstairs to release her. She asked me why I was taking the gate down, and I said, “because I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have put it up, and I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

Talking about the incident with my sister the next day, I realized that I had actually taught RIley a very important lesson. Not to stay in bed, oh no. But rather, when you make a mistake, own it. Say: that was me, I did it, I screwed up, I’m sorry, I’ll try to do better. And everyone makes mistakes, kids, parents, even popes.

That’s why I was happy to see that Pope Benedict apologized for lifting the excommunication of Bishop Williamson, you know, the Holocaust denier? See this hilariously titled NY times article if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Because actually, if you love someone, you trust them enough to love you even if you screwed up. So, thanks your Holiness. I forgive you.

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