This week I had the privilege to write for Romper about my 5 year old son apologizing to me for 2+ years of his mom-direct anger. His words stopped me in my tracks.
Reflecting on his gesture made me ask lots of questions. At what age can kids apologize, and mean it? When do we (adults, grown ups) owe them an apology? What does rupture and repair look like in families?
I turn these questions over to you with a bunch of other questions attached like barnacles.
College essays often ask us to look at our own mistakes and put them in context. What did we learn? Some of those mistakes might have merited apologies. Maybe we apologized, maybe we didn’t.
When have you had to reckon with your own actions?
What’s your first memory of a sincere apology, giving or receiving?
What are the expectations around apologies in your culture of origin, families, or communities?
For my teens– Have adults ever apologized to you? Why? What did that feel like?
Is there an apology you are waiting to give, or receive? To whom, or from whom, and why? With what words or actions would it begin? What hurts or harms might it address? What would a post-apology future look like?
Though this may not become the topic of your college essay, it can be an amazing way to step into appropriate levels of vulnerability and self-reflection.
Choose any of the questions in this post as a place to begin. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and write the whole time without stopping. Don’t judge (oh please don’t judge!)– that discerning eye can come in later.
And do not, whatever you do, apologize for your humanness.
Contact us for a review of your writing if you need some guidance how to go on.
This week, a most holy week for those who are observant Jews, we reckon with our losses, and with trying to get right in our hearts again. Collectively, we reckon with the loss of the inimitable Ruth Bader Ginsburg to cancer; the news that the police who took Breonna Taylor’s life will not be brought to justice; we cry for those that the pandemic has lifted away from us. And we reckon with a bajillion small human losses and needs. We stand with you.