Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Little feet, I am grateful for the gift of being your mommy for a time. My prayer is that the time I have with you is long enough for me to meet your grandchildren, but I am thankful for whatever time the Lord gives us together. Being your mommy is a role that I grow into on a daily basis. Someday you will understand that I am far less than perfect and I fail you quite often. But forgiveness is a big part of our relationship and that is the thing I want you to understand more than anything. I love when those little chubby fingers enclose my cheeks and say, “I forgive you, Mommy. Does that kiss make you feel
better?” I need that more than you even comprehend. Let’s keep doing that, okay? Even when you’re 20 and I’m 48 and it may be more difficult for both of us because age makes things harder. We’ll never regret the results of forgiving one another.
I am beginning to get small glimpses of what it looks like for you to have to wrestle with the consequences of your choices. I think this will be one of the most difficult things for me as your mommy because I won’t always be able to make things better. And even when I can, it might be better for you for me to choose to not do so. Like when you got your balloon from Trader Joe’s and I told you to hold onto it really tightly because if you let go of it, we wouldn’t be able to get it back….and then you let go of it and started crying as you watched it disappear into a perfect summer sky. You didn’t know how easy it would have been for me to go back into Trader Joe’s and get you a new balloon, but I did. I knew it would be better to let you wrestle with the consequence of your choice. Or when I reminded you for the tenth time to be careful with your slushee at Target, but it was only a few moments later that you dropped it and spilled it everywhere and started crying (albeit slightly dramatically). It would have been easy to get a refill, but I chose not to do so. You may not believe me, but choices like those are not easy for me. I just think small situations like those don’t hurt you too much and there are lessons in them that are more powerful than anything I could teach you with words at this point.
Then there are those times when I have to watch you hurt because of someone else’s choices. That hurts like hell. Like the day I watched that little boy pull your hair and when I came over to pick you up, I saw the big clump of your gorgeous blonde locks lying on the ground next to your sweet barrette. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for that time and for all the times in the future that I won’t be able to reverse a situation or repair it. My heart was inflamed with a righteous (I hope) indignation because I wanted it to be made right, but I could do nothing other than to use it as a lesson on forgiving someone when he has not asked for forgiveness. There will be those times when I will speak up for you, (for us) and trust me, I will speak. I promise to always be your advocate. But there will also be those times when holding my tongue is the better thing to do until my heart has had the time to process the circumstances. Your hair will heal. And I know that my heart will, too, but only because of forgiveness. No amount of vengeance on my part is match for the justice of holy and righteous God. That sounds a bit dramatic in this case, but I don’t mean it in an ugly way. I just know there will be situations in our future that will be exponentially more complicated than losing your hair to an undisciplined little boy who just needs boundaries. All you needed was a hug and some juice to make the tears go away. In the future, we’re both going to have to learn how to forgive.
Little feet, sometimes I wish I could build up a hedge around you so that you wouldn’t have to experience disappointment or hurt or pain, but I know I can’t. And if I did that, you would resent me for it, because you’d eventually encounter pain—it’s impossible not to in a world that is wrecked by sin—and I wouldn’t have prepared you for it, as best as I am able. I know I could have chosen to not bring you into a world like this, but I’m not really into that argument. I think it’s lazy. Pain exists and is palpable and can often lead to something more beautiful than there was before.
Little feet. I love you so. There are times when I look at these little shoes and wish you both into sizes much bigger than the ones in this picture and then there are those days when I am reminded—by strangers—to revel in this time of your young lives and not to wish these days away. I am thankful for those strangers. I can see how the Lord has grown me, not so much in my shoe size, but in the size of my heart. Now I love these days more than ever. I mean, don’t get me wrong….we still have “those days” when the drama is worse than ever and I put myself in as many time-outs as I do you…remember yesterday? Yeah. I think we still have a bunch of those days in our future. But I love all the days with both of you. My life is fuller because you are both in it. You’ve both taught me more about myself in a few short years than I have somehow learned throughout my life. That’s invaluable.