I believe in justice.
Isaac makes it easy for me to determine how to deliver that justice. He is one of the most honest children I know. Perhaps I am biased, since I was quite the manipulative and creative storyteller when it came time to answer the question, "what happened here?" When Isaac gets asked this question, he takes a moment, searches my eyes with his steely blue ones and leaves me with the challenge of determining a punishment for the crime. Usually, his truthful answer lessens the blow.
Like the other morning, as I was coming down stairs...I hear a drawer close and feet scrambling into the dining room. With a serious look (trying not to smirk) I looked at Isaac's face...
I never would have guessed.
In those moments, justice is swift. It is sure and definite. There was a crime and it is fit for a punishment. There was a lengthy time out, and no more cookies or treats that day. He was totally bummed.
As for other moments of guilt...the one who needs to learn the lesson is not as definite...
Such as the time the other day when I discovered, somehow, my little Mr. Technology had managed to charge $100 to Mommy's Facebook account by buying coins for online games. Yes. One hundred dollars, folks.
Those aren't just cookie crumbs.
As I struggled in that moment in realization...I found myself asking no one in particular..."What happened here?" And I stammered and stuttered for an answer. There were no set rules as to what buttons could be pressed. Isaac didn't know what he was doing, and I had no idea what
he was capable of accomplishing. In this case, I believe the one to
receive the guilt would be me. I sat down with Isaac and set some rules about the computer. He accepted them. Now, we have rules where once there were none.
Responsibility means being truthful with yourself, and the truth is, we ALL need grace. Grace is an easy thing to come by when we have the wisdom to say, "I need it as much as the next person does." In the end, being just oftentimes means letting grace override our desire to see someone punished for the very same crime we ourselves commit.
Isaac's chocolatey-smile reminds me that innocent mistakes happen, and when we are honest with the situation and demonstrate grace and forgiveness to ourselves and those who may have caused it, we can know better for next time.