Since posting "A Daughter's Advice" I put it on myself to ensure that I apologise to my mum before I leave to return home. I tell you, the period between the post and the apology was a battle in itself! It was like dreading to tell someone bad news for fear of how they would react. Except the news I had to tell wasn't bad news, it was meant to be good!
I replayed over in my mind the conversations that I had and tried to recognise triggers for my behaviour. What I came to realise is that over the years I had made excuses for my behaviour. While I am grateful for the relationship I have with my parents to speak my mind of which they welcomed, I've realised that my approach has been more disrespectful than not. My approach has been more about listening to speak rather than listening to hear. Something my husband learnt when he read an article on communication that taught me a lot and how simple that was. Taking in that simple lesson and reflecting on many conversations over the years with my parents in particular the most recent incident I found that I do exactly that; I listen to speak and not listen to hear my mum's heart.
While it was hurtful to hear my girls' advice. The reality is - the truth hurts. But in accepting the truth, it can also bring you peace. So I left my apology right to the very last minute when we were about to leave. Leading up to this point, I had the apology played out in my head. Many times I was tempted to chat with her but knowing my relationship with my mum, timing is everything. So a last minute apology it was.
I gave my mum a big hug and said "I'm sorry mum".
My mum hugged me hard, and laughed and said it was okay. Now, to many that may not be an apology. But in my family it is enough. Everyone is different and every family is different. The only ones that dwell on things in our family is my mum...and me. Go figure! The females in our family. But I hugged my mum a few more times and apologised. It was important for me to do so, so that my girls could witness their mum making amends.
Before the apology, I had to bring my girls' up to speed (the I'll-tell-you-what-it-was-like-growing-up-but-not-so-that-you-end-up-resenting-nana version) on my relationship with my mum. They understood but it still didn't justify in their innocent eyes how I behaved. I love my mum and as I grow older I realise how much of a compassionate heart she has for others. Because of her compassion I see how much more I am the same. I, of course, am my mother's daughter.
So the journey to refining my character continues and that journey always begins in the home.