August 30, 2006

How Sorry?

I was tired of living in a messy house.

One week ago, just before school started, I cleaned the kitchen and the living room. And since then, I've made sure they're stayed clean.

I actually get stressed out by a messy house. I think it overwhelmes my slighty-ADD brain. I'm less concerned about the kids' rooms, mainly because I don't have to spend a whole lot of time in there. Even so, I sometimes work to get those rooms clean as well.

I remember one day a few years ago, when I was picking up toys; it looked like the box of Legos had exploded all over the room. I put hundreds of Legos – some no bigger than a BB pellet – into the bin. I was about finished when my (then) six year-old son walked past me, stepping on the side of the bin, which caused the bin to flip up, sending half the Legos flying back to the floor.

For a minute, I just stared at him, and he just stared at me. I thought I was going to yell. But I didn't. Not this time. Instead, I waited. Finally, my son said to me, “Sorry.”

“Really?” I said.

“Yeah. Sorry.”

“Well,” I said, “if you're really sorry, maybe you can help me pick these back up.”

He said, “I'm not that sorry.”

I know that I myself am sorry for many things. I'm sorry that people are dying of AIDS in Africa. I'm sorry that in many places in the world, parents have to watch their children die of hunger. I'm sorry that in our own country, the gap between the haves and the have-nots is getting larger. I'm sorry that so many are oppressed because of their race or sexual orientation.

I tell people that I'm sorry. I tell God that I'm sorry. And God says to me, “Really?”

And I say, “Yeah. Sorry.”

And God says, “Well, if you're really sorry, perhaps you could help.”

And too often, I say, “I'm not that sorry.”

I didn't see any messes like this at Legoland.

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