One of the greatest titles I have ever had in my life is mom. My heart still flutters when they say it, my life is brighter and my days filled with such purpose. Parenting has made me the best version of myself but it is hands down the hardest thing I have done in my life. The ugly that comes out of me is shocking sometimes, the words I say unkind, the things I do immature.
This past week was rough at our house. It started with a time change, ended with a full moon, with a little national despair somewhere in the middle. It felt a little like we were speaking different languages, it was frustrating. Merging human lives is messy, those weeks are hard, they sharpen and shape us. They bring to attention the areas that need a little work.
This may be one of my favorite stories from the early years of parenting. I had been mom for officially three months. I was still trying to figure this huge life change, I was flopping around, gasping for air. Two of my kiddos had been accepted to an after school reading program at a local church. It was week three of the program and I ended up getting way behind in my day and was 15 minutes late picking them up. Frantically, I was trying to find a way to contact the program to assure them I was on my way. Like a gift from above, I remembered that I had the director’s phone number saved from a message she had left me. Upon dialing it I realized I was half way through an intersection of a red light. Keeping it classy I utter, “oh sh*t.” Like a movie reel the scene played back to me. The phone was up to ear and the “leave a message beep” had just sounded, Oh, I left a message alright. The horror of running a VERY red light, risking all of the lives, being late and the reality that I just left “oh sh*t” on the voicemail of the caregiver I had left my children with sank in. Slowly and silently I lowered my phone, praying that she wouldn’t know it was me. Right, no way she had my phone number saved, I jetted into the building apologizing for my tardiness as I came in. The director stood there as I walked in, looking my way she made my nightmare come true, “I got your message.” WHAT DO YOU EVEN SAY TO THAT? I smiled, gathered my crew and said, “thank you, see you next week!”
Parenting is messy. We are all just doing our best, we make mistakes, lose our temper, say the wrong things and we are hypocrites who are teach on irony. Early on my 3 to 1 ratio, created for me the reality that I could not fake perfection. I have learned to say sorry, show myself grace and lead by example.
As I folded laundry, packed lunches and washed dishes I reflected on all of the mistakes I had made in this day, so many. Moments echoed through my mind, hearing the words I spoke. The guilt and shame showed up reminding me of all my errors. I soaked it all in for a moment, I absorbed it and began the spiral of lies.
Then in a moment a quiet whisper of Elsa’s famous words trickled through my mind, “let it go.” So, I did. I want my crew to grow up and be kind to the world around them. Most of all I want them to be kind to themselves. They watch me, more so than I ever realize. The greatest gift I can give my children is grace. So tomorrow is a new day and it is washed clean with grace.