Recently I made an off-the-cuff apology to our kiddo’s. It was nearing bedtime and, as we all know, every minute that clicks closer to 8 pm mama gets a little more into shut down mode so any sort of nonsensical antics or demanding questions end up with short, snappy responses. Daddy had just gotten home from work at his normal (but will never be normal) hour of 7:30 pm and was going through his nightly ritual of reheating the leftovers of our dinner and preparing his lunch for the next day sort of all mish-mashed together.
He was tired. I was tired. Kids were….well, kids! They were singing and thumping and snacking and asking questions and were really just happy while we were the old grumps.
I looked at them and said, “I’m so sorry that you get the worst of us! The tired, irritated, short-answered, end of the day, us.”
They shrugged and kept on keeping on as kids tend to. But I’ve thought about it over and over again since that day. Why should these little ones, my very favourite people on the planet, get this me.
My clients at work get smiley and bubbly, always patient and willing to chat, me. My co-workers get one of two versions, either fun and silly or I’m-here-to-listen, me (all while working hard, of course). The mom’s in the line-up at school drop off get chit-chatty, I’ve-got-all-day-to-be-here, me and yeah-lets-do-another-lap-around-the-track-so-we-can-catch-up-just-a-bit-more, me. Even the cashier at the grocery store gets a nicer me than my kids often do.
They get me at the end of the day. They get me when my smiles have all been given away, when my patience has all been used up, when I hardly even want to talk anymore because a bit of quiet would just be perfect bliss to my soul. They get me when I’m out of answers and really just long to crawl into bed. How is that fair?
I’ve determined that it’s not. I’ve called it what it is. Sin. Big, yucky and ugly sin. Impatience. Quick to anger. Self-serving. I’ve asked for forgiveness from both God and my boys because this is not the me they should get!
My boys are precious. Time with them is fleeting. To think that in a mere 6 years Owen could be in University on the other side of the world causes a tremble in my heart. It makes me want to be present, like really really present, for every moment they come to me and start a sentence with, “Hey, Mom?”
They are my biggest responsibility on this earth and they require more than tired Mommy. I long to give them more than short, snappy answers. They are our children and it is our job to grow and train them mentally, spiritually, emotionally, socially and physically. This requires time. Energy. Patience. And nothing short of a miracle to accomplish this each and every day.
Because I love them more than they know and more than I sometimes show. Only Jesus can give me what I need to be who I need to be for them. I’ve somehow, over the years, forgotten that. Thinking I could work and mother and be everything for everyone in my own strength. I can’t. So I’m asking Jesus to help. To guide. To grant me wisdom to answer questions, patience to gently guide, time to join in on the silly antics, joy to laugh when it all crumbles and perseverance to pick up the pieces and start all over again when I fail.
Our precious littles need us. We need Jesus to help us give them our best. Today.