Today was a bad day.
We were all tired–the combination of incessant coughing, middle-of-the-night-toddler-wakings, and endless wintery blahs are getting the best of us, I guess.
Felicity napped for just 20 minutes.
After school, the big kids started arguing approximately 2.7 seconds after they entered the same airspace.
I yelled at them. Meredith cried. Mother of the Year, right here.
Daddy is working the late shift this week, and I’m feeling sorry for myself, so I drove through McDonald’s for dinner.
Felicity splashed water out of the tub and I lost my temper. When I got her out, she ran away from me, and not 10 seconds later, tinkled on the kitchen bench cushion. That’s not to mention the permanent marker toddler artwork discovered on my couch cushion.
I let them all play iPad tonight much longer than any pediatrician would recommend, just to give myself a few minutes of silence and solitude.
I ate a piece of stale leftover chocolate birthday cake for dinner.
The kids got toast, cheese, and water for a bedtime snack, like some sort of second-rate prison ration.
Nolan cried because I brushed his teeth with the wrong toothpaste, and Felicity pushed him off his stool.
It was not a good day.
But, when we finally came to an agreement on which books to read before bed, they snuggled in–and forgave it all. We talked about visiting Mount Rushmore this spring, looked up pictures of what it looks like and discussed Abraham Lincoln. Meredith recalled he was shot, and Nolan piped up, “Just like Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton.”
They make me smile, even on bad days.
They don’t hold my failures against me. Their capacity to forgive my shortcomings and forget my lousy moments is more than I’ve earned.
We parents spend our time stringing together a bunch of failures mixed in with some victories–and that’s OK. We’re human. We’re imperfect. We’re in constant need of grace.
These three little faces reminded me tonight that I can’t do it on my own. That despite the bad moments, the rotten days, the McDonald’s drive-thru dinners, mercy is there if we’ll only slow down, take a deep breath, and accept that which we do not deserve.
Today was a bad day.
Tomorrow will be better.