I got my little boy a dog for Christmas and it helped heal my shame. 

I picked up Ben Thomas from daycare with a surprise. Santa wasn’t getting credit for this one. When I opened the door, he squealed with excitement, just like I had hoped. The dog’s tail wagged and her entire body shook as my little boy climbed into his seat.

“Where did this dog come from? Is she coming home with us? Can she sit in my lap? What’s her name?” I adjusted the rearview mirror, not wanting to miss a single detail of his excitement. “Yea buddy, she’s your new dog. Merry Christmas.” For the moment, I was his hero.

But that wasn't always the case.

Here's the bad news: shame has a ripple effect. But the good news? Forgiveness does too.

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