A friend and I spent an hour trading stories about our kids and their shortcomings this week. There was the kid who instigated a screaming match at the lunch table, the kid who threw a fit and sassed their father, the kid who got caught making bets at school, the kid who forgot to send in an important permission slip, and the kid who left all of their completed homework sitting on the dining room table. And that was just this week.
Then we talked about our own mess-ups–calling our kid’s behavior stupid to their face, yelling, leaving a laptop at the doctor’s office, forgetting important papers of our own, and perhaps losing a bit of our grip on sanity. And those shortcomings all belonged to me, all in one week.
Parenting humbles me like nothing else. It is a mirror held in the hands of small people who force me to take a long hard look at myself and own my mistakes. I see the homework left behind on the table and I see myself. I see the kid throwing a fit when they don’t get their way and I see myself. I see the forgetfulness and there is my image waving back in the mirror. Now the betting? That one I don’t understand. I’m guessing it has something to do with the other half of this particular kid’s genetic code. Insert half smile.
These are small things, but it’s the small things that make up the story of our lives. Little failures add up over time and we start to wear thin. We see ourselves as we truly are and then we see ourselves in our kids, and it feels like a pulling of all the dangling threads we try to hold together. We want to look perfect and new, but really we’re a little worn, a little threadbare, a little too human.
I want to love every part of me, everything that makes me human, no matter how messy it gets. No matter how many patches I have to put over the worn holes of my imperfections. What if we looked at our lives as a patchwork of grace? Where unmerited favor, redemption, and forgiveness cover up all the mistakes. What if we saw our kids in this patchwork too, an artful arrangement of grace upon grace? I want to remember they’re only human, and have the courage to say, I’m only human too.
How was your week? Did you need to repair some of the places you’re worn thin?
And a bit of housekeeping: How do you like the new design? After 900 posts, much like my spirits, the blog needed a little face lift. As we make a few more changes to the site as well as my email subscriber list, I expect their might be a few hiccups in the process. I’m switching over from Feedburner to Mailchimp (or MailKimp if you’re a Serial fan), so things might be weird in the email department for a little while. Thanks for your patience as we switch things over and try to streamline a bit, and please feel free to drop me a line if you notice any quirks in the system.
As always, thanks so much for reading:)