... Underneath the sky of blue!
We forgive our parents for not understanding when we’re joking, for worrying about the wrong things, for looking at us that way they do. For pretending they don’t know their mask has slipped below their nose. For asking what “TokTik” is and rolling their eyes when we mention health care or climate change or organic tofu. For bringing mortality into every room.
We forgive our siblings for staining the sweater, losing the sleeping bag, stealing the girl. For not seeing us as the adults we’ve become, for holding us hostage over that one time we said that one thing. For being smarter or more athletic or happier than we are, for having children who are smarter or more athletic or happier than ours.
We forgive our spouses for losing their phones so often, for using our toothbrush, for coming home from work late for the last 10 years. For being overly solicitous of the pretty but mean neighbor lady, for going on and on and never asking about our big meeting. For witnessing our every trifling and gross failure, for being better than we are at cooking, spreadsheets and password management in front of our kids. For being only part of what we need.
We forgive our children for getting out of the car without carrying in any of the bags, for not trying hard enough to know what we’re saying when we’re frazzled, for leaving towels on the floor at Nana’s house, for scaring us with their age-appropriate-but-still-shuddersome risk taking. For calling only when they’re in a bad mood or need money. For growing up.
We forgive ourselves — especially ourselves — for being tired, angry, absent or critical. For caring about what people think and commenting on our kids’ appearance too much. For mouthing off about corrupt politicians and then doing barely anything to make change. For abandoning the parental pledge of transcendence and going human on our children.
Every functional family, defined here as people willing to be in relationships without end, relies on forgiveness at some level, and surprisingly often that forgiveness is routine, spontaneous and possibly beyond merit. Not that it’s easy. But the alternative is even harder.
So happy just to be alive underneath the sky of blue!