(I know this is a longer post for me, but please read it!! I think you’ll thank me!!)
Last night was probably one of the best mommy moments I’ve had in a long time, if not ever.
#1 played with me. I mean really played with me.
After dinner, #1 wanted to play. She was sitting on the floor with her Leapfrog alphabet fridge toy. All of the letters were lined up on the floor. She was telling me the letters and the ones she didn’t know.
Then, she decided she needed something. So she told “I go in the living room. I be right back.”
She went to the toys and brought one back. A little toy car.
She pushed it to me. I pushed it back to her. We did this for at least 15 minutes. Back and forth. If I did it well, she said “good job, mommy.” Other times, she would crawl to go get it.
Apparently, pushing the car backwards is not acceptable, either. “No, mommy, like this. No backwards” and she pushed the car back to me the right way.
Did I mention it was fun, because it really was.
After the day was over and the kids were in bed, Mr. Serious handed me our reading for Sunday school class. It is from The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg. He told me I had to read one paragraph. And it was so good, I’m going to type it out here for you.
“I look in on them as they sleep at night, and I remember how the day really went: I remember how they were trapped in a fight over checkers and I walked out of the room because I didn’t want to spend the energy needed to teach them how to resolve conflict. I remember how my daughter spilled cherry punch at dinner and I yelled at her about being careful as if she’s revealed some deep character flaw; I yelled at her even though I spill things all the time and no one yells at me; I yelled at her-to tell the truth-simply because I’m big and she’s little and I can get away with it. And then I saw that look of hurt and confusion in her eyes, and I knew there was a tiny wound on her heart that I had put there, and I wished I could have taken those sixty seconds back. I remember how at night I didn’t have slow, sweet talks, but merely rushed the children to bed so I could have more time to myself. I’m disappointed.”
At that moment, all of the times I yelled at her or got on her during that short morning and afternoon time I get to spend with her were amplified. She was whining, fussing, crying, and I got on her. She spilled her cereal, and I got on her. She didn’t want to go potty when I took her, and I got on her.
So, my hope for the day/week/month, even hour, is that we won’t get quite as disappointed with ourselves today as we did yesterday.
We will take that extra moment to teach a lesson, get a cuddle, or read a book. We shouldn’t be disappointed at the end of a long, hard day. We should be satisfied. We should demand more, not of our kids or our spouses, but of ourselves.