When I wrote about the bottle of wine that fell and shattered all over my kitchen floor, I focused on my feelings.
Today, while relating the story to a friend, I realized that I overlooked the very mature and impressive reaction of my eldest daughter.
Y had three Purim packages to deliver to elderly residents of our neighborhood. Apparently the boys from Ezra were supposed to deliver a bunch of packages, but weren't able to deliver them all, so they gave some to the girls. Y wasn't able to deliver her packages right away, and I asked her to keep them in her room, so they wouldn't get knocked over and broken by mistake. Y didn't want to put them in her room, and chose an "out of the way" place on the kitchen floor.
Not surprisingly, when I moved the bag and the bottle fell and shattered, I was quite upset.
I called Y, to tell her what happened and to express my chagrin that, had she listened to my request, this could have been avoided.
To her credit, Y apologized right away and said "Ima, leave it. I'll clean it up as soon as I get home."
With those simple words, my anger dissipated.
I explained that I could not leave the mess for her, because it would dry up and get gross and sticky.
Y again apologized and expressed her willingness to clean it up, even if it would be difficult.
I was tired; I was frustrated; but I was no longer angry.
Had she tried to justify what she did or "defend" her actions, I certainly would have responded differently.
But after Y apologized again, so sweetly and sincerely, I simply requested that she remember this event and listen next time.
Then I got down on my hands and knees to clean the mess.... and tried to laugh about it.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,