Green Stripes

Grandmas set

Years ago, I was helping Grandma do some cooking. I reached into the cupboard next to the oven and accidentally dropped her green striped bowl. It was like time slowed but I couldn’t move my hands to catch it. The beautiful bowl crashed to the floor, shards flying everywhere. There was no hope of repair. No amount of glue and prayers would put it back together.

My breath caught and tears welled in my eyes. I knew these bowls were special to Grandma. They were a gift (my memory wants to say wedding gift but I wouldn’t stake my life on it) and Grandma treasured them. I had begged her to let me use her special bowls to mix in and now I broke it. My mind reeled and I immediately began an internal dialogue, chastising myself.

Before I could even say a word, Grandma hugged me. I cried and sniffled out that I was so sorry. It was an accident. I didn’t mean to and would she please forgive me?

She smiled at me, pulled a tissue from the bread drawer for me to blow my nose and asked if I was hurt. After a quick examination and finding nothing amiss, she thanked me for my apology. Then she sent me to get my shoes on and get the broom. When I came back, I could see how sad she was but Grandma reiterated how glad she was I wasn’t cut. That was the important thing. Bowls are replaceable (well, not really in this situation but she didn’t say that) but granddaughters are not.

This entire incident buried itself into the recesses of memory until I had my own children. Things have been broken. Ruined beyond repair. Lost. We talk about being good caretakers of our belongings and respecting property. The first time I found myself reaching a point of frustration where I just wanted to berate my child the clumsiness or unintentional damage created, my breath caught. This entire incident flashed through my mind in a split second and the emotions I experienced as the child came flooding back. Instead of using harsh words, I hugged my child, whispered that I knew it was an accident and how glad I was she wasn’t hurt. We cleaned up the mess together while talking about ways to be safer in the future.

Now, I have Grandma’s precious striped bowls in my own kitchen. I am always on the search for a green replacement bowl but I’m okay if I never find one. It’s a reminder to always take a breath.


This post is linked up at The Parent ‘Hood. Be sure to check out other bloggers moments in parenting!

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  1. Love this story, so very much.

  2. What a beautiful, touching story! I need to take a breath more often, thank you for the encouragement. And thank you for linking up to The Parent ‘Hood!


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