It was only an accident.
Katie didn’t mean to squirt that big blob of hand sanitizer out of the monkey-shaped bottle. Maddie didn’t mean to have her hands dripping wet with banana-scented hand sanitizer when she grabbed the little book she was working on. Nobody knew her wet hands would liquify the marker she had used to decorate the cover of the book. When one of the girls set the book down on our brand new hardwood floors, they didn’t know the marker would drip off the book and stain the floors a bright red.
We scrubbed and we Googled and we sighed and we scrubbed some more. We Googled again and tested this and tried that and scrubbed and, eventually, we just gave up. The red stain taunts us from the middle of our entryway. It rests unmoved, waiting to greet our visitors.
But we really weren’t mad. It was only an accident.
When I walked into my bedroom later that evening and found this sign taped to my door, I smiled:
Sweet, sweet girl. It’s okay. It was only an accident.