Saturday, February 23, 2013

"I'm Sorry, Finn V."

A few years ago, we had two Finn's in class: Finn V. and Finn P. The adults only used the initial when there was cause for ambiguity, but the children, even the Finns themselves, usually included the initials.

We were outside and I was watching Finn V. carefully using chalk to color bricks on our wall.

He had done two in the center of the wall and had moved over to work on one near the edge. Isak took a paint brush from the water bucket and unknowingly started painting over the two bricks Finn had previously colored.

Finn shouted, "Hey!" threw down his chalk and began to stomp off. I was on the verge of intervening but luckily I waited an extra beat. Isak turned from his painting and said, "I'm sorry. Finn V."

Finn paused in mid-stomp, looking at Isak from the corners of his eyes.

Isak said, "Finn V., I'm sorry."

Finn pivoted, and instead of storming off, sat heavily on a bench, wearing a glowering face. Isak walked over to him, still carrying his paint brush, got right in his face, and said, "I'm SO sorry, Finn V."

Finn, still wearing his sour face, grumbled, "That's okay."

Again, "I'm SO sorry, Finn V."

"That's okay."

Isak went back to painting, carefully choosing a spot where the bricks had not been colored. Finn sulked for a minute longer, then went off on his way.

Human beings simply cannot have a more mature emotional exchange than that. Isak's honest mistake and sincere apology could only be matched by Finn's ability to forgive even while in a fit of justified anger.

I have no fear for our future.

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Anonymous said...

thank you.

Raising Snails said...

Very sweet.

Reminds me of when my son was in elementary school, and had a girl with the same name in class. All of the kids called them Girl Cayden and Boy Caden. They even called each other that- "Girl Cayden, do you want to play with me?" "Ok Boy Caden".