There are times when you’ve made a great mistake, got caught sneaking out, or got punished for something you knew darn well you shouldn’t have done – and the time to pay the piper is near. Fess up and apologizing is one of the hardest things to do – and truly mean sometimes. We all have to start sometime.
THE TRIP UP
My parents had one rule, “Do not leave the house without telling us.” Well, you know what I did right? I left – just to go to the corner store. I did it a lot, heck, got away with it at least a dozen times before I got…caught. You know while I was doing it, I didn’t think I would get caught. No really, they hardly ever doubted that I would follow the rules. I followed the rules in most everything else. I was a “good” kid that was easily managed – not! But at least I thought I was.
I tell you, when you get caught doing something you know dang well you should be doing – it’s the worst feeling in the world. When I rounded that corner coming from one of my adventures off the safety of my neighborhood, my grandmother was standing on the porch waiting for me. Her hands were on her hips and her frown made it obvious that I was in for it.
I froze, yep I couldn’t take a step. Part of me wanted to run, but I knew she would catch me. I gulped, closed my eyes and slowly walked up the street. My booty of candy and soda firmly held in my hand. Even though I’d gone to the store, left the neighborhood, and didn’t tell my grandmother where I’d gone, there was no way, no – way, I was giving up the goods.
ARE YOU REALLY SORRY? And READY to FESS UP?
Now I admit I was sorry – really sorry. But, but, but, that didn’t mean I wanted to give up my candy. I couldn’t figure out what I was more sorry about. Was I sorry I got caught, or was I sorry that I broke the rule. Truth was, if I hadn’t gotten caught I would still go to the store without getting permission. Also, the truth was, if given the chance to do it again… I just might run to the store again. That meant, I wasn’t really sorry.
At the end of the day, I apologized. Also, I got punished. The punishment was – no playing outside for a week and no allowance for a month. I thought it was harsh, heck downright mean. But it taught me a lesson. There is a price to pay for breaking the rules, and most times…all times, it’s much higher a price to pay than it would have been to do things the right way.
Did I ever break that rule again? Naw, after that… I just asked. Sometimes being denied doing what I wanted wasn’t always so bad.