By another child.
In our community.
(You don’t really need to know, but I’ll tell you anyway: The injury was so bad that my child was rushed to the hospital and got stitches.)
Due to a rock thrown at her head.
Yes, I’m reminding you, it was unintentional.
At least that’s how the story goes.
And, honestly, I believe it.
And so, I didn’t really get upset with the child who threw the rock.
Instead I got stuck on the fact that she never came to apologize to my child.
You see, I am constantly telling me kids: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).
It’s quite simple, I remind my kids.
“Do you want someone to throw sand in your eyes? No? So, don’t throw it at them.”
“Would you want that kid to say sorry for pushing you off the slide? Yes? So next time, you need to apologize for the same thing.”
My kids get it.
Sometimes they forget.
But, with a little reminder, they get it.
Because I teach it to them.
Over and over again.
So, in the afternoon after the incident, when my child returned from the hospital, and the parents of the child who held the rock came over to our house (without their child) and said, “Our child is really sorry for what he did. It was an accident.”…
My child and I looked at each dubiously.
The child is sorry?
How do we know?
Why isn’t she here to tell us?
Something is wrong with this situation!
This is not how it’s supposed to go.
The kid is supposed to apologize. Not, the parent for the kid!
Boy, was I stuck on frustration.
I thought to myself, perhaps I should have a conversation with the parent and tell her my feelings.
Tell her that my child is waiting for an apology.
Yet, I know that I wouldn’t feel good if another parent approached me and parented me, which is essentially what I would be doing.
Ok, plan B.
Stay stuck on frustration?
I know better than that.
It’s not the way.
Because it never is.
It just leads to suffering.
So, I decided to just notice my frustration for a few days.
Until it dissipated.
Which it did.
And came to the realization, that the best thing to do in this situation, is just to invest my energy in continuing to teach my children the way that I think is right.
And, not necessarily teach them how the other parents are wrong.
They may or may not come to that conclusion themselves anyway.
My only concern at this point is whether the absence of justice (in the child’s eyes) teaches a confusing message.