Been thinking a lot about forgiveness these days. "Tis the season for me, Mother's Day, my mom's birthday, my parents' anniversary, Father's Day, my dad's birthday, all pile up. These are all harder now, with both of them gone. No house to go to. No calls to make. So I've been thinking about forgiveness. Mostly for myself.
Other people are easy to forgive. My parents weren't perfect, but they tried. Most of their parenting mistakes were mistakes of love, holding too tight, pushing too hard for their point of view. Knowing they were right and wanting to protect me from my own stupidity. Those sorts of things are easy to forgive, all you need is time and distance.
Forgiving oneself is harder. Especially forgiving oneself of the casual cruelty of being a child. The number of times I rolled my eyes and gritted my teeth over family visits. (Because I didn't know how few I'd get.) The amount of energy I expended on stupid arguments, really truly stupid arguments. The pain I caused by my lack of attention. Remembering those moments is what keeps me up at night.
Or did. These days, I'm trying to go easier on myself. Trying to forgive myself for having been a child, with all the attendant childishness and selfishness. And most of the time I find, I can. I can allow myself the same breaks and understanding I give my parents and my kids.
I think this is what happens when you grow up.