The next morning, my son went to feed Ninja but came running back downstairs with tears in his eyes and Ninja in his hands. “We were one day too late, Mom. Ninja died and it was my fault.”
Immediately, I said, “What!? I know he had some food left. I had been checking each day.”
“No, Mom he didn’t have any food.”
To which I replied, “I am sure he had some. I kept checking.” The evidence of the dead hamster wasn’t enough for me. We ran up to the bedroom to check the food bowl and sure enough it was empty. It must have been empty for days. I’d made a mistake.
We were crushed. We sat and cried together, and my little guy said, “It’s all my fault. I have gotten so busy this week that I didn’t notice he was so hungry. I forgot to take care of him and now he’s dead. I just want a second chance. I will do so much better.” My son was willing to accept the responsibility.
I felt terrible. It wasn’t his mistake, but mine. In this moment, my greatest intentions were not enough. I had the food that could have saved the hamster, but I didn’t follow through. My heart was full of goodness. I wanted him to be ok, but I did not do my part.
Am I doing my part in our family?
It’s a good question to ask. I don’t mean are you running around crazy trying to do everything. My guess is that you are, just like I was that week. But stop for just a minute and consider your foundational relationships. Are they getting the attention they deserve?
I do my best, but sometimes if it’s hard or inconvenient, I let things slide and excuse myself; promising that tomorrow will be the day.
There comes a time though when I have to take action.
Like my son, “I just wanted a second chance.” That chance comes when I choose to accept responsibility and create change. When I choose to stay present and feel gratitude in each small moment—even the really hard ones.
I am strong enough. I can ask for help when I need it. I can’t always do it on my own, but I don’t have to. You don’t have to either. I’m here cheering you on. Others are cheering you on too. What do you feel to act on today? What change needs to enter your life? What will bring you closer to the people you love?
Choose one thing today.