Fortunately for all of us, my wonderful friend was as sweet as could possibly be throughout the whole thing. And of course I felt awful for everyone. Later my friend commented that it was nice that I wasn’t mad at my daughter. Anger never occurred to me. This is a child who has done blessedly little in life to make me angry with her, and she certainly didn’t mean to do this. I am grateful for her every day of my life. In fact, she’s had so little experience making mistakes that I truly felt horrible seeing the look of shock on her face that captured a harsh reality: sometimes in life, in spite of our best intentions, we make mistakes.
I hugged my daughter and told her something it’s taken me a long time to learn: Don’t waste your energy trying to be perfect or worrying when you’re not. We’re better off spending our energy trying to be good at being imperfect. Simply do the best you can and work to handle your mistakes intelligently and graciously. It’s the best we can do.