During October this year I had a major falling out with someone over an incident involving my son. In my rage and indignation I vomited my disgust out on Facebook. This is an excerpt of what I posted at the time.
“What kind of woman leaves a child behind at school just because he is late?
My neighbour has been taking my son to school for the last two weeks, and because he was late in getting to the pickup spot, she left him there, knowing full well that I had no way of getting him picked up.
The irony is that three weeks ago, her car broke down and I took her kids to school for a week. One day her son was late. It NEVER even crossed my mind to drive off and leave him there. We went looking for him.
Fortunately a friend was nearby today and he drove me to the school and we collected my son.
I got my son to apologise to her for being late and then I took her aside and told her that I would never have left her child behind and that what she had done was completely irresponsible especially as she knew I had no way of getting to him.
In a fit of foul language, she stormed off and told me I could take him to school, again knowing full well that is not possible.
Later this afternoon, my son goes off to play with his friends, and this foul-mouthed nutcase tells him to “Stay the F&CK away from her house and kids”.
I have got to the point where I am really tired of the nasty, self-serving scum of the earth and I have developed a zero tolerance level. I will no longer keep my mouth shut. If you put a child at risk, there is something wrong with you. If you are angry with me, but you take it out on a child then there is something seriously wrong with you.”
I told her children that they were always welcome at my house and so the kids continued to be friends, but she and I just ignored each other.
Then I got caught by surprise. About three weeks ago she sent me a text message asking if I was home and if she could come and see me. My initial response was I could not be bothered, but I replied eventually that I was home.
When she arrived at my door, she looked at me and said “About that incident. I am sorry!”
That was it. No other explanation, discussion or reasons. As I looked at her, I knew that it had taken great courage to initiate the conversation and arrive at my door, given my well-earned reputation for being a shrew at certain times.
My response was immediate. “Forgiven and forgotten.”
What happened next is remarkable. The incident vapourised. It never happened. We started chatting about our respective plans for December, shared a laugh or two, and parted on the best of terms.
All it took was three words. Three from her. Three from me.
I think about this often. And it makes me uneasy. The question that is sliding and hiding around in my mind needs to be answered.
Who do I have to say the first three words to?
Diana Heuser specialises in e-Business and Publishing Resources for Authors. Connect with Diana Heuser on her business website, via Twitter @DianaHeuser or on Google+. She has recently started a new group called Your Life Story that you will find interesting. Request to join here.