It's rarely a good thing to get a text that reads "I'm so, so sorry, Mom."
Uh-oh. Hundreds of thoughts, none of them positive, race through my mind: What happened? Did someone, or a pet, die? Did she get in trouble at school? What's going on?
But I maintain semi-calm and text back: "Umm ... what's up?"
"Please don't be mad."
"Ok, I'll try. What's up?"
"It was an accident."
"I broke your pie plate."
"Ok. No big deal. Did you get cut?"
"No. You're not mad? I thought it was your favorite. I thought you'd be mad."
"I'm not mad. It's just a thing. It can be replaced."
A little while later, she texts again, looking for assurance that I'm really, really not angry about her breaking one of my pie plates.
I really, really wasn't mad. Maybe six years ago, I would have been mad about something like that, probably pretty upset. I may have even ranted and raved a bit needlessly about it. But not so much now.
Sure, I get a bit miffed when stuff gets broken or ruined, but I've learned that ... well ... stuff gets broken and ruined. It's life. It's bound to happen, and getting upset about it really doesn't do anything but get you upset and irritate the ulcers. I've been doing this mom thing long enough now to be able to recognize the important things and let the little things go.
What's the point of getting upset about a $8 pie plate in the whole scheme of things? In my mind, being mad at my kid for an honest mistake is just not worth an $8 hunk of glass.
I tried to impress upon her that it is just a thing, a material thing, and it's not worth getting upset about. As long as she wasn't cut and as long as she didn't break it purposely, it's just not something I'm going to get all riled up about. Maybe I'm wrong having that kind of attitude, maybe I should get upset and select a suitable punishment because she broke something, but what's the point? All I'd really succeed in doing is most likely teach her to hide her mistakes from me out of fear of punishment or learn that material things have more worth than they should.
On the other hand, not making a huge deal about it could also teach her to not be careful and respectful of our things and she may grow up with that everything-is-expendable kind of attitude towards life. That's not a good thing, either.
But I really don't think that's the case, not with her anyway. She was genuinely sorry she broke it and it was very much an accident. But I am concerned that she was so worried I'd be angry at her. I don't know where that comes from, honestly, because I haven't been really, truly angry with her, ever. If it had been on purpose or because she was being careless, I probably would have handled it differently, but still would not have been angry.
Of course, I informed her that she is the one who gets to tell her uncle that I can't make him his favorite pie this year for Thanksgiving because I no longer have the pie plate to put it in. I got the horrified face from her at that and an offer of her saved allowance money to buy a new one.
See what I did there?