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Ask Rene: How Can I Forgive An Incident Like This?


Ask Rene:
How Can I Forgive An Incident Like This?

Hi Rene,

I really need your advice. I need to forgive two members of my family and try as I might I just can’t.

Here are the details. Recently my husband and I went away for a short break (our first real holiday in years) While we were away we left our 4-year-old son Sebastian in the care of his paternal grandparents.

We received a phone call two days into our trip telling us that our son had fallen from the second story window of their apartment and had a broken arm and a concussion.

Sebastian bounced back fairly fast but I’m afraid it’s taking me a lot longer. I’m still so angry with my husband’s parents and have forbidden them from coming to the house since. What kind of grandparents leave a child unwatched near an open window?

My husband is obviously caught in the middle and it’s causing a huge strain in our relationship. He keeps saying it was an accident and that only infuriates me more.

So what do you think Rene? Am I right to feel this way? Or should I forgive – and try to forget? I want to but I just can’t . . .


Samantha in Colorado



Hi Samantha:

Wow, what a pickle. First and foremost I am glad to hear Sebastian is doing okay after such a traumatic event. Whew. I guess the same cannot be said for you however, and honestly I can’t say that I blame you. But you have a decision to make; you are either going to forgive the grandparents for their shocking oversight or you’re going to let this eat you up inside and have your marriage be among the casualties. You have quite a bit to work through so here’s my suggestion . . .

2. Cut Them Some Slack

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In their defense, they probably have forgotten how much trouble toddlers can get into when you turn your back for a second. For you and me and any mother of a young child, closing open windows and covering outlets are things that are second nature to us, part of the mommy instinct that becomes finely honed after you pop out a kid. But I think that wanes when there haven’t been children around for decades. The in-laws got used to having an “adults-only” place and more than that, the curiosity that is second nature in four-year-olds is not present in those six decades older. They’ve looked out that window at the big trucks and bright lights so many times they have forgotten they are there. Not so for a curious toddler for whom everything is new, shiny and big.

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