Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The One Without Do-Overs

Michael, my oldest, was sweeping the floor today. He kept missing spots, so I kept sending him back to finish properly. I explained to him that when you have a job to do and you don't do it right you have to fix it. You have to go in and finish it. I told him that when Matt messes up something in his painting or fixing a car he has to go back and fix it. I explained that it happens to everyone. We all make mistakes, miss something or are just plain lazy at times, but we have to go back, fix it and finish the job.

I turned to the sink to finish the dishes and it hit me. As a Mom, I don't get do-overs. I don't get to go back and "fix" whatever problem may arise. I think it hit me because today has been a particularly rough day. A lot of frustration on my part which led to being more stern/annoyed/frustrated with the kids than I usually am. I realized that while we definitely can go back and apologize for our 'bad Mom" moments we cannot undo what has been done. We cannot take away the words we used, the tone we used, the deep & frustrated sighs we use. Children pick up on those cues. They know when we're annoyed or frustrated with them without us having to use words. And while we can try to smooth over the things we've done the problem is we've already done them. We already hurt them. We already frustrated them. We already missed that moment to teach God's grace to them. We already missed that moment when we could have created peace instead of making war. We missed that moment when all they really needed was a kind and gentle answer instead of a frustrated sigh.

Do-overs don't happen for Moms. We can't fix the things we've already done. We can only try to remember to not let it happen so often. We can only try to listen to that still, small voice inside of us reminding us "This is a moment to teach compassion" or a "Moment to show grace". We can only thank the One who shows us grace time & time again and try hard to mirror that to our children.

And thankfully.. children are resilient. The Lord has filled children with such love and understanding. Much more than most adults have. I'm thankful for that because my children sure have forgiven me for a lot of 'bad mom' moments. Hopefully more 'good mom' moments are what will help shape them into who they become.


Rachael said...

So true. <3 A nice reminder for everyone.

M said...

Becca..thank you for a timeless reminder that stretches over many generations...