I hate this. Really, I do. For 13 years I drove my kids to school. I loved having them trapped in the car with me for 20 minutes or so every morning.
Five minutes or so into the drive, I'd announce, "Topic of the Day!"
Groans and sighs from the back of the van.
It's the same every morning, yet they acted like they had no idea it was coming.
I'd pose questions, situations and we'd discuss. Sometimes serious, "If you were to die today, would you have any regrets?" Sometimes silly, "If you were a food, what would you be?" Usually a Freedom of Speech debate. Oh, ask my kids to give you my "Election Day/it's a privilege and duty to vote" speech.
A mommy friend of mine recently had her third child. They are officially outnumbered. Having seven kids, I'm WAY outnumbered. But I remember having three and feeling paralyzed. I began to get teary-eyed thinking of my 22, 20 and 17-year-olds as 5, 3 and a newborn. Then my tummy tightened up as I remember taking them all to get a gallon of milk one day.
I pulled some of ideas out of my Mommy Bank and suggested a few of my tricks-disguised-as-games.
Now, it's 17 years, four kids, death of my First Mike and my cancer diagnosis later.
Now, I'm yelling at Little H when she pulls the laces from her shoes and is practicing how to lace them.
Now, I'm snapping at The Son because the trash didn't go out.
Now, I'm scowling at K because I got a form this morning and it was due yesterday.
Now, I am not having fun with my kids.
Where did that other mommy go?
The bus is coming to get Little H in 10 minutes and she is brushing her teeth s l o w l y . Then she starts to have a freak out.
There's a TAG in the side of her shirt. "Get it out. Get it OUT. GETITOUUUUUT."
Never mind she's worn said shirt probably eight times and not even noticed this mean 'ol tag.
I sigh. Grab scissors. And, not very gingerly, send the mean 'ol tag to the trash. I exploded.
"We have to go!"
Then, my Little H comes over and gives me a huge hug. Lays her head on my chest, pats my back and says, "It's OK, Mommy."
Oh, Little H. I knelt down and looked into her big brown eyes and told her, "I am so sorry I snapped at you. There is no excuse. I will try to do better."
She smiled up at me. She's full of grace.
I need to give myself grace.
I gave advice to another mommy friend with young kids last week. Apparently, I'm better at giving it than living it.
This friend, the supremely talented and witty young adult fiction writer, looked me smack in the eyes and said, "Give yourself grace."
She tells me to love myself. Right where I am.
The Bible, in 2 Corinthians 12:9, says,
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.Rest in God so Christ's power can rest on me. God's grace is enough. For Little H. For me. For you.