|photo credit: stockfreeimages.com|
Let's be real, I can't keep every single coloring of a bird in a tree surrounded by stick figures. The little dude cranks out about 20 different renditions a day! Thus I find myself inevitably caught trying to trash version 16 in the garbage as I hang my head in shame and feel like a complete failure as a mommy for not treasuring each and every gift my little Picasso sends my way.
All of us commit misdemeanors. Some of them may be more monumental in our minds than throwing away yet another dried macaroni artwork. Sometimes we lose our tempers, raise our voices, finish posting one last facebook status before we change that poopy diaper. Sometimes we look away from the baby for a moment at the precise second when he learns to roll over, and then, horrified, watch him fall from the changing table. We've all tucked a watercolored-smudged child into bed without a dunk in the tub. And we've all (like today) tried to hide another crayon drawing deep underneath the newspaper in the garbage only later to learn that it was his "best ever" and he wanted to frame it. (Meanwhile, we hear the garbage man idling half a block away, the treasure crumpled and torn somewhere below it's enormous jaws.) We've all done things like forget to show up for a "Walk-A-Thon" at the elementary school when all the other mom's were there to walk hand-in-hand with their kindergartner. We've all misjudged a situation and punished our child for something that he didn't do. (Or maybe that's just all the ones I've committed lately.)
Disrespecting my little Van Gogh's talent is just one of the countless sins I've committed as a mother. The one that is not so very dramatic, but fills me with the most shame , is when I fail to listen and truly be present with my little monsters. It's the crime I most frequently commit.
Our days as parents teem with everyday tasks related to our kiddos physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs. We cut fingernails, pack lunches, schedule doctors appointments, give hugs, teach manners, and do laundry. With so much on our plates, we're bound to mess up. All the dirty little secrets I've shared today still stem from a loving parent. But we mess up. No one is perfect, but when our kids see us in the midst of a failure, it's also important that they see us take a breath, apologize, and accept the grace given to us from a loving God. They need to see us admit we are guilty of these "mommy misdemeanors" and start over, and over, and over again. It's one of the best lessons we can give them.