Covid-19 · Fostering · Parenting

Learning the hard way

“Oh, they forgot the straws!” I said as we drove away from the drive thru window…

Not an insurmountable crisis as we are all more than capable of taking off the lids of our cups and drinking our beverages.

We were off to enjoy a bike ride along the Sturgeon River and had decided to grab supper and eat at a picnic table before heading off. Everyone was hungry and the food smelled great.

Then from the back seat I heard a “POP” and “Oh no” then silence. As I turned I saw purple everywhere!

Her beverage of choice is a blueberry pomegranate smoothie. She was hungry. It arrived so full that when she first gave it a gentle squeeze it oozed out the lid and she slurped it off. So she squeezed again… and slurped it off. And squeezed again… do you see where this is going? I would have if I had seen what she was doing!


Purple smoothie was running down the front of her jacket, covered her lap and was rapidly seeping towards the truck seat. She was sitting there stunned looking at how much had landed on her wondering how it was possible based on how little oozed out the top when she squeezed.

The cup was squished almost in half and it continued to run down the sides.

I dug out some napkins and handed them to her to start mopping up.

“Stop squeezing the cup and get it round again!”

She managed to mop it up with about 6 napkins and was pleased with how well it wiped up. Her black pants looked fine, although they were wet, and she managed to avoid getting it on the tan truck seat.

A mistake

A learning opportunity

A teachable moment

For all of us! Sometimes the children of the other mother are learning things way behind their peers. They didn’t have the environment to learn and grow when they should have.

What wells up in you when people make mistakes? How do you respond when your children make mistakes? How do you respond when your spouse makes mistakes?

When we react we tend to speak and act out of our own brokenness. We respond out of frustration, or hurt and it muddies the issue. We say things like “What did you do that for?” (Dumb question… they probably didn’t anticipate the outcome) or “You should have known better!” (Well they do now…) or something else that really doesn’t make sense if you stop and think about it!

If we want to help people learn from their mistakes we need to deal with the mistake and it’s consequences separate from our reaction. Whether it’s your spouse or your child if the first thing you want to say is “Don’t you ever learn?” you are speaking from your own hurt and lack of forgiveness. That is your issue to deal with not theirs.

Mistakes happen, and loving people in and through those mistakes means dealing with your own junk. Growing up means not making others responsible for your reactions.

The truck was an easy one for me to distance myself from and deal with… a little harder for hubby. There are mistakes and choices that strike closer to home. They cause feelings of betrayal that are from triggers I have yet to fully deal with.

Everyone makes mistakes, and poor choices that lead to unforeseen consequences. Learn to deal with them with patience and grace and not muddy the waters with your emotional response. It is not wrong to be frustrated or disappointed but don’t let that shape how you deal with the mistake itself.

We had a great bike ride. I ‘m glad we did because spring has disappeared and there is a lot of snow outside right now!!

In the midst of the mess


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