As most of you know I'm Christian, a Wife, and a Mother (yes...in that order). Most days I feel like I've failed at all three of those jobs. Usually I feel that way right about the time the sun comes up. Before I roll out of bed I have an idea of how I want the day to go. Within minutes I am headed off course. I let curse words slip every now and again, I forget playdates and sports practices, I lose someone's favorite socks or burn the eggs (that is on those days when I've remembered to pick up eggs).
Today was no exception and I cannot begin to list all the things that went wrong. Fortunately for me, I was raised by a total and complete optimist. Even though I know I've fallen short, I generally look at the positives and figure if no one is hospitalized by the end of the day we have successfully accomplished what we needed to for that day. Some days that is all I can ask for. I would love to send a Christmas letter talking about how my children never talk back, always eat organic food, and I would love to include a photograph with matching outfits, brilliant smiles, and absolutely no bumps or bruises. That's not who we are though. Right now I'm trying to remember if anyone brushed their teeth before bed and our youngest has a bruise under his eye that might lead a stranger to believe he was punched in the face by a sibling. That is of course not the case...but perception is everything.
I digress...what I really wanted to share was a quick story about my children and how they constantly surprise me and always bring immeasurable joy. Really...they do...even when I'm yelling, there is still a smile hiding back there somewhere.
This evening, I allowed the older children to stay up past their bedtime. I needed their help because we had been without internet for several days and I needed to get work done in my office. After homework was done I asked if they'd play with our youngest (who turns 1 in a week) so I could work. They eagerly agreed. I should probably explain that my office isn't downtown or upstairs even...my office is completely open to the rest of the house so I can easily eavesdrop while still concentrating. The children were 'playing house' in the living room. I heard my daughter speaking in a soothing voice to her 'son' and as she came home from work she hugged her 'husband' and asked him in a very concerned and engaging tone 'honey - how was your day?'
This went on for nearly a half hour. There was no yelling, no smarmy tone, no sarcastic comments...there was love. She read a book to her 'son' and rocked him in her arms. My oldest son sat on the couch next to his 'wife' and they chatted about the rainy weather and the garden. They decided they should plant an apple tree.
I sat at my desk beaming with pride. My parenting goal was to never yell or lose my temper. Most days I feel like all I do is yell...and yet as I listen to my children I realize they see a side of me I would like to see more often. They see me as gentle and nurturing. They don't see my failures and shortcomings...and this gives me hope for their futures and my own. As I tucked them in bed and we said our prayers I said a special thank you to God for sending me a message and reassuring me I have not failed as a parent.
Good night and God Bless!
May our paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and moments that make you smile ear to ear!