Do you ever have those mornings when you just can’t quite hold back the frustration? No? Just me then? When you step in a big, steaming pile of poop, and you’re barefoot, and you just don’t have enough character, just not enough Christlikeness, to walk with grace?
This morning, after a sleepover night of boys crashing in an exhausted heap at 1am and up with a bang at 6, I sat with my Bible. I choked down coffee and God-words and I truly, for realsies, savored my crazy bonkers kiddos. Sheer bliss of early morning trampoline jumping in Batman jammies. Sweaty headed boys dashing back inside to devour an entire package of chicken sausage. Excitement of interrupted routine spraying out of their pores. Fun!!!! Fuuuunnnnnn!!!!!!
And then the inevitable parting and mood-crash and house needs to get back together and reality returns. I blast worship music. Only Passion’s White Flag will do for a day like today. And then the trail of dog turds starting in my bedroom and ending between my toes on my kitchen mat. And Evie wanting to sit on the potty for 45 minutes. “Mommy, hold my hands.” Yes, sweet girl. “Mommy, hands around neck. Neck! Neck!” Yes, daughter. How do I end up in these poop-inducing headlocks of love? And still the blasted turd won’t come. And my neck is being squeezed and my nose is waaaaayyyy too near the source of the digestive aroma wafting out of my adorable girl.
I have unwanted poo between my toes and the poo that I’m begging my daughter to squeeze out won’t come. Poo in all the wrong places.
I’m not sure when I started yelling, but at some point I morphed into yelling, sarcastic, mean Mommy. And I’m not sure if it was Poop Doggy, Toddler Headlock of Stench, or Lack-of-Sleep Whine-Boy, but something pushed me over and I lost it.
I stopped my rant and breathed. I’d hurt feelings. I’d messed up. And I’m so thankful for the lesson that my own incredible, yet verrry occasionally fallible parents taught me: it’s okay to apologize. Ask forgiveness. Humble yourself to your kids. I still remember it from my own childhood. I’m grateful for the lesson of the most powerful people in my world humbling themselves and asking my forgiveness. And I learned to give it freely. And now I needed to ask for it humbly.
I got down on my knees, took little faces in my hands. “Mommy’s so sorry. Will you forgive me?” It led to a good discussion. “I was frustrated. I didn’t handle it well. How should we handle frustration? What are some ways that you handle frustration?” And my kids teach me how to give grace, because they give it so quickly, so generously.
I even apologized to my dog. And gave him treats. And he forgave me, too.
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