Invasion of the Candy Snatchers

Never give a girl some chocolate, then eat it while she’s sleeping.

That’s the unfortunate scene that wears itself out in our house after every major holiday involving buckets or baskets of candy, and this Easter was no different.  Scott played the role of the usual suspect (though, in fairness to my husband, I’ve been known to swipe handfuls of marshmallows while no one is looking), and Rainey was cast as the innocent victim.

One morning this week, while building a fort in the living room, she found an empty box of Gertrude Hawk’s Smidgens wedged in between the couch cushions.  She came into the kitchen where Scott and I were clearing the breakfast dishes.

“Were these my chocolates?” she asked, holding up the damning evidence.

Scott looked to me for a lifeline, but I was more upset that he didn’t clean up after his late night chocolate binge.

“Dad,” Rainey demanded to know, “Did you eat the chocolate from my Easter basket?”

A few more uncomfortable seconds passed.

“Yes,” he finally admitted, “but I’ll get you some more this afternoon.”

But his promises made no difference to Rainey.  She stormed out of the room to hide the rest of her candy before it, too, was snatched.  She returned moments later, still fuming, and swore retribution.  Even Lilla got caught up in the drama, and, in a show of solidarity to her sister, marched to her bedroom and slammed the door.

Scott just blankly looked at me, wondering how to dig himself out of this one.

“You really need to apologize to her,” I suggested.

“But I did,” he insisted.

“No, you just admitted you ate her chocolate.  I think she wants to hear you say you’re sorry.”

So, when the divas girls finally emerged from their rooms, Scott pulled Rainey aside to apologize.

After owning his wrong-doing and vowing to try very hard not to do it again, he asked, “Will you please forgive me?”

The word “yes” came out of her mouth, but her sour attitude communicated otherwise the rest of the morning.  Finally, I made an appeal for her to let it go.

“But I can’t!” she claimed, exasperated.  “He always eats my candy, and I’m sick of it!”

I empathized with my daughter, I really did. Hardly does a situation ever arise in her life that I’m not also personally dealing with in my own.  And so I went into my bedroom, picked out a sterling silver charm from my jewelry box and handed it to Rainey. A few weeks earlier, I had given her a braided leather necklace with two similar charms inscribed with the words, “Focus” and “Respect,” small dangling reminders meant to encourage her in a couple areas where she sometimes struggles.  This latest one, “Let Go,” is the same one that’s been hanging from a chord wrapped around the rear-view mirror of my mini-van for almost two years.

I tried explaining its significance to Rainey.

“Rainey, I get it.  Forgiveness isn’t easy.  I’ve had to forgive people, too, and for things a lot worse than eating my chocolate.”

Rainey stared at me, her eyes urging me on.

“But,” I confessed, “I’ve blown it big time, too, and made lots of mistakes over the years, and when God says he’ll forgive me, I want it to be complete. One hundred percent. But he can’t do that if I don’t forgive other people the same way.”

“Yeah, but he’s God,” she interrupted.  “It’s easy for him.”

“True, he’s God, but he knows what it’s like to be human and what it feels like to be wronged.”

I brought up the events we’d been remembering the past several days, before the baskets of candy, before Easter Sunday.

“When Jesus was hanging on the cross,” I explained, “He never asked God to hurt the people who were hurting him.  He didn’t ask God to pay them back for what they were doing to him.  Instead, he asked God to forgive them.”

“Well that’s crazy,” Rainey replied.

“It is,” I agreed.  “But because of it, we can be forgiven, too.”

“Besides,” I said as I hooked the charm onto her necklace and fastened it around her neck, “Holding on to a grudge is torture.  It’s like eating a whole basket full of chocolate and waiting for the other person to throw up.”

Rainey smiled and fingered the dangling charms.  After a few minutes, she stood up and walked outside to the porch where Scott was finishing a cup of coffee.

“Dad, I want to forgive you,” she admitted honestly, “but I need a little time. Okay?”

“Okay,” Scott consented, hugging his oldest daughter.

And it made me happy to see the two of them on their way to reconciliation. But not as happy to see my own hanging pendant. Because I just found out Scott ate my pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and I have a feeling I’m going to need that reminder.

Comments

  1. Erin Richer says:

    I hope it wasn’t Chubby Hubby. “‘Cause that’s unforgivable. Even for Jesus.

  2. Michelle says:

    I always enjoy reading your stories!! Maybe you should send him over hear to eat some of my Middleswarth when I’m sleeping. . . . . I could use the help. . . . . . . .

    • meg@raineydays.org says:

      You know, Michelle, now that I think of it, that’s a great perspective. Maybe he’s actually doing me a favor!

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