I pulled up and parked just in time for the last class of first graders to come out of the school in a line and start loading on the bus in an orderly fashion.
"Is this first grade?" I asked one of the parent volunteers.
"Yes, Mrs. K's class," she responded.
I quickly scanned the windows full of faces from the three other classes of first graders. My eyes quickly found the little blondie I was looking for and I breathed a sigh of relief.
I tapped on his window. He thought I was just coming to give a send off for his special class field trip, but I had a much more urgent mission. I motioned for him to get off the bus and mouthed that I wanted to talk to him for a quick minute.
He immediately hopped up and worked his way against the incoming traffic to get off the bus and onto the sidewalk with me.
With his baby sister straddling my hip, I dropped to one knee and put my free hand around his waist.
The tears were brimming. I could not hold them back.
"Buddy, I feel horrible for how I treated you this morning. I am so sorry for fighting with you and for the awful things I said. I was only thinking of myself. Will you forgive me?" I pleaded.
He looked me directly in the eye and lo and behold, his eyes swam in tears as well. "Yes mom, I forgive you. I'm sorry too. I love you. Did you come here just to tell me this?" he responded.
"Yes! Our relationship is important to me and I messed up big time this morning. I'm so glad I got here before you left for your field trip. I hope you have a great time. I love you Rufus." I said.
I watched him get back on the bus and take his seat. Not two moments later, the bus started to pull away. I am so grateful that I was given the gift of getting there in time to ask for forgiveness before the school day was through.
I was such a horrible mom to him that morning. My need for forgiveness was eating away my heart from the moment he left for school.
God has been weaving a lesson of forgiveness throughout my life for months now. I see it all around me (after I drafted this, this very weekend our church sermon was about forgiveness. I hear you God!) and I'm learning how to give and receive forgiveness - true forgiveness, not just apologies - in my marriage, friendships, and parenting.
It is not an easy topic for me to learn because it takes a lot of humility both when I am wrong and when I've been wronged. It takes work on both ends to ask to be forgiven and to truly forgive - and then to choose to leave it in the past. I'm not very good at it, in fact, I'm really good at digging up old dirt about my kids and my man.
I have been dwelling a lot lately about all the dirt that God has on me. Enough to build me a mountain from here to Mars, yet I have confidence in the forgiveness I have received in that relationship.
Who am I to hold on to the dirt of my loved ones?
It is not easy though.
And I'm on the look out for re-do's.