Sometimes I wonder how my almost adult child can do so many good things and then turn around and do so many stupid things. In fact, the more I contemplated that the other day, the angrier I got. One moment she seems to be maturing into a responsible adult. The next, she seems as clueless as a two-year-old. I found myself wanting to lecture, lecture, lecture. I wanted to tell her how disappointed I am in some of the choices she has made lately—nothing horrible, just irresponsible.
Fortunately, she wasn’t home. As I stewed, imagining my righteous anger toward her, a still, small voice reminded me of something: I do the very same things. I don’t like to admit that. None of us do. But even now, even though I know I have grown up a lot in the past twenty years, I still do stupid things, say stupid things, make stupid decisions. I end up having to apologize. I end up wondering when I will ever learn. Suddenly I saw my righteous anger as what it truly was: self-righteousness. I’m not that much different from my daughter. It’s just that my stupidity shows itself less often. At least I hope it does.
So for Christmas I’m giving her a gift: I won’t berate her for her actions, I will simply love her through the consequences. She may never even recognize that she has received this gift, but I will know it has been given. Just another step in my own maturing process.