Friday, June 10, 2011


“Mom!” Jayden walks up to me half crying. A moment later he’s followed by Jason. “Will, where are you? Jayden just pushed “K” in the mud!”

“Jayden! You better go and say sorry.”

I grab him and march off to find K and her Mom but they’ve already gone home. One little girl, muddy and crying, and one upset Mother.

What to do? By the time we leave the party I still haven’t come up with an answer.

Maybe I’ll go apologize tomorrow when I see them at church, I think to myself. Then the self-justification begins: It wasn’t my fault that he pushed her in the mud, and I can’t supervise him 24/7, and besides that one incident, he did play really well.

Maybe I’ll just forget about the whole thing, sweep it under the rug, besides, the “Love and Logic” parenting book that I’ve been faithfully studying says not to make excuses or apologies for your children. That’s just teaching them they can do wrong and you will pick up the pieces. It’s not teaching them responsibility.

Responsibility, hmm, maybe I’ll make Jayden say sorry at church tomorrow. The arguments begin again: You know how Jayden says sorry. He says it at least 10 times a day and usually in a very cheerful manner. “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” I hear whenever I catch him doing something wrong. Humph. Is K really going to appreciate a forced “sorry,” or a cheerful nonchalant “Oh well, better next time, kind of sorry”?

What about letting him make a card for her? I'm not sure where the idea comes from but it seems like a good one. I know she loves purple so maybe a purple card with flower stickers and butterfly stamps.

I spend some time explaining to Jayden how sad she was and that’s not how you treat a friend (he really loves her a lot), and then ask how he would feel if another boy would push him in the mud.

“I would be sad” he responds thoughtfully.

Then I talk to him about making a card.

“A card?” he asks.

“ Yes, a sorry card.”

With stickers and stamping pads?”


He nods excitedly. I pull out the stickers Oma Krul sends faithfully with her letters and a box of stamps and ink. He quickly gets to working making a beautiful card. Purple construction paper, pink flower stickers, heart and butterfly stamps; before long the artistic creation is ready.

“Here’s a pen Jayden, Mom will help you write it.” Jayden nods again. I hold his hand carefully in mine and together we write.

Dear K

Sorry for pushing you in the mud.

Love J

At church the next morning we find a spot in the back row. As we wait for the service to begin an excited little boy cranes his neck, watching for the arrival of K. Suddenly he flies out of his seat and out the door.

“This is for you K!” He says handing the now slightly bent envelope to her.

I watch from my seat as K carefully pulls the card out of the envelope and reads the words.

“Dear K, Sorry for pushing you in the mud, Love J.

A smile lights up her face. She grins at Jayden, he's forgiven. Then she walks to the bench in front of us and sits down. I watch as very carefully, with her small fingers, she traces the butterflies, flowers and hearts. Then she opens it again and reads it. “Dear K, sorry for pushing you in the mud, love J.

A little while later the sermon begins. The message is about reconciliation. Reconciliation with God and with our neighbours.

I think of the times that my pride has kept me from reconciling with others. The times I justified my own actions, or swept wrongs under the rug and even jumped on them when they threatened to crawl back out.

My eyes drift to the seat in front of me at K, still clutching her card.

Reconciliation, it’s really so simple that little kids can do it.

It’s as simple as a card that says “Dear K, sorry for pushing you in the mud. Love J.


  1. I love this post, Will!

  2. You're such a sweetie!

    Thanks for sharing your heart...again!

    Hope to see you soon,
    love Henry and Jenny

  3. hey i hear you guys are going to be in Alberta in July maybe will see you guys