The idea or prospect of being the "perfect" mama or the "perfect" wife is such an alluring one. I think it echoes in the homes of most. It is the ideal that we strive for; the image that we try to attain. Admittedly, I, myself, have struggled to portray that image of "perfection". And when I don't achieve it, I often times let the feelings of failure and inadequacy supersede any other accomplishments or victories of that day. But is perfection a role that we are called to play...is it a mission that was tasked upon us?
In attempts to be everything to everyone, I fear I have come up short in the last couple days and have hurt and failed the ones that truly matter most. My sweet Tyson (the 7 year old) has the most loving demeanor....but unfortunately, he is a bit of a "bull in a china shop". That child breaks, spills, crashes, and destroys more than anyone I know. I don't know why it upsets me when it happens....it ALWAYS happens. But, nonetheless, I lost my temper with that poor kiddo when he, once again, spilled a drink. We had just bought an icee at the convenient store- it was a mommy/Tyson treat...just the 2 of us. It's a joy to have them one-on-one occasionally; to talk to them without all of the distraction that accompanies a house of six!
Anyway, when we got home that poor kiddo was trying to help me carry the chips in for supper and lost his grip on everything dropping his just-bought drink....splattering it ALL over the floor, the cabinets, the appliances. He was trying soooo hard to clean it all up, but in my quick temper and oversight, I focused on the MESS and not the child. Hindsight is 20/20 (I hate that darn saying). And I could have reacted much, much differently- teaching my child a more valuable lesson about patience and forgiveness...and ultimately love. Instead, he learned that mommy's floor is more important, and that anger is the choice reaction.
I have learned in the past years that forgiveness is a valuable gift. After my ranting and raving, a voice reminded me of my errors and that an apology and asking for forgiveness was necessary. As the parent, I think it is very hard to admit to our kids when we are wrong and ask them to forgive us...but that is exactly what I needed to do. I searched out my son, hugged him, and told him how sorry I was for losing my temper. Things are just things- I want my kids to know that they are much more valuable than the time it took to clean up a mess. I asked for his forgiveness which he graciously granted- isn't it crazy how forgiving kids are? If we could only keep that loving spirit we have as children and carry it into our adulthood, the world would be a much more wonderful place.
Of course, one would think that I had learned from the error of my ways. But, alas, I am human....and I mess up all the time. My oldest son came home last night with the unfortunate news of less-than-appealing grades in a couple of his classes. Tyler just entered middle school which is QUITE an adjustment, to say the least. My dear oldest son is my child that doesn't need much disciplining from me...he beats himself up way more than I ever could. Nonetheless, I rode him pretty hard about responsibility, expectations, and privileges being revoked....and in that ranting, that familiar voice spoke a little louder..."love the child", "help the child", "hold the child". My disappointment melted quickly as I grabbed my kiddo and held him. He was sobbing uncontrollably, and my heart ached to help him. As I held him, a conversation I had had with another mom at a soccer game the night before echoed in my head. She talked about focusing on what our children do right...not what they do wrong. Truer words have never been spoken. My son had 2 classes that he had "A's" in-what was he doing so well in those classes that we could incorporate into the classes in which he was struggling?
Through all of my mess ups, screw ups, downfalls, and mistakes I have realized that striving for that illusion of "perfection" is just that.....an illusion, a facade, a mirage in the heat. It is an unattainable expectation that was launched upon us as young and carried into our adulthood. And I have, unfortunately, tried to heap it upon my family. But I am fighting to break that cycle.
I need to have a quieter presence and be slower to react....quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger- anger does not bring about a righteous life. That is the lesson I want to leave my kids....not a house that has to look good to others and an image of perfection. We are human and thus we will always make mistakes. But the glory appears in how we act and react in those moments of failure. I am called to have a more loving and patient spirit...not one of perfection. That title belongs to One much more worthy than me.
Thank you for redemption and grace. Thank you for the unconditional love and forgiveness of my small. Thank you for the lessons learned when I mess up. And thank you for second chances, new days, and brighter beginnings.