I had what felt like a major mom-fail yesterday. It was smushed in the middle of a day filled with lots of wins, so I’m trying not to let it cloud the whole day.
But this wasn’t merely a mom fail; it happened in a super public arena and it was super embarrassing. I could feel the judgy staring and all I wanted to say to the perfectly-spandexed organic-snacking gentle-parenting moms sitting on their park benches (who were probably a good 15 years my junior) was “either help me, or shut up.”
But I didn’t say anything at all. I kept my eyes on the prize (one eye on my kid who was running away while laughing and mocking me, and one eye on my baby who was buckled in the stroller 30 yards away). After what felt like an hour of this malarkey I finally climbed the play structure like a raging hippo, picked up my son like a sack of potatoes, and got the &@$% out of there backed by the soundtrack of his screams and my own huffing and puffing.
5 years from now nobody will remember this, so I know it doesn’t matter.
But ughhhhh. That was rough.
After the heat of the moment, I apologized. So did he. Hugs and kisses made it right. I’m sure this scenario will repeat at least once again with this stubborn, fiery, strong-willed little boy. So I’m ready to try again, better and wiser, next time.
We all mess up. As I listened to my little guy sob the whole way home, I softened, and recognized in him the same anger, disappointment, and injustice I often feel in my own life. The same hurt I’ve turned into weapons of words and actions, weapons I’ve used to hurt other people. The same hurt I’ve acted on in ways that altered the course of my life.
How often I’ve wished for grace and forgiveness and a goldfish-memory from the people I’ve wounded.
Maybe I can give a little more grace and forgiveness too.
Today’s a new day, a chance to try better at life all over again.
And PS: when you see someone struggling, help them, or mind your business. But really just help them. Nothing’s lonelier than feeling scared and helpless while people stand by and watch.
PPS: Stretch every day. I think I pulled something jumping over the slide.