When I was a kid, I always felt so awful after I had a simple accident – usually breaking a glass or bowl. I always came away feeling like a failure – accidents are preventable and it was my fault for not taking the proper precautions or paying enough attention.
When my husband and I first started dating, I broke a glass and had a meltdown. He calmly and lovingly reassured me that everything was okay, it was just an accident, and it certainly didn’t make me a bad person.
Over the last few years, my husband and I have developed a family custom when one of us has a simple accident: the other one cleans it up. That way, the person who caused the accident doesn’t feel worse by getting mad at him or herself and instead feels loved and reassured. It’s a lesson that I hope we’ll pass on to Alex.