So today’s writing is a Keepin’ It Real post! Nothing warm and fuzzy about this one! Nothing even funny about it! In fact, it has taken me a couple of weeks to write it because frankly, it’s not something I really want to share. But the fact is, this blog is for my children. One day, when they have children of their own, I hope they will go through this book of writings and see that mom was not just fun and loving, but that she was normal! She made mistakes – sometimes big ones! And maybe they’ll learn from them before they are repeated. So here’s the ugly truth:
A couple of weeks ago, Noah was upstairs in the playroom for quite a long time. He enjoys going there sometimes to escape the little ones, so I didn’t think anything of it. He typically watches some TV after he comes home from school or sometimes he talks on the phone with his friend. (I know, right? He’s an 8 year old boy! I don’t understand it, but he enjoys it and it doesn’t hurt anything!) A bit later, he came downstairs all excited to give me a Mother’s Day card he had created for me. He had put so much time and energy in it and was so happy to surprise me with it. I read his sweet words and said thank you, putting it off to the side.
About an hour later, we were in the car heading to dinner. I was talking to Noah and noticed this green stuff ALL OVER the undersides of his arms. When I asked him what was all over him, he proceeded to tell me that it was ink from my scrapbook markers. I’m pretty sure that flames shot out of my ears at that point. Why? Because he has been told REPEATEDLY to stay out of my scrapbook stuff! There are very few things in this house that I call mine, but I lay claim to the scrapbook stuff. And I don’t like to share! Nothing is ever returned to the right place (not that I’m that organized); the mess left behind is never cleaned up; and lids are never completely replaced on the markers (you know – push until you hear the click!). UGH!!!
The scrapbooking mom who prides herself in preserving special memories for her children went off the deep end and ripped him a new one! “Why can’t you ever obey? I’ve told you repeatedly to stay out of my things, but you just can’t obey. You have no respect for anything I say! How many times have I told you to stay out of my things. You’ll never get it, will you? And on, and on, and on . . . ”
I will never forget the look on that sweet child’s face while he shook his head. He didn’t speak a word, but he didn’t have to. The look of disappointment spoke volumes. It was at that moment it dawned on me that just an hour before that same child had brought me a surprise Mother’s Day card. A big, beautiful card decorated with what else but a green marker. And sitting behind me in the car was a child with the back sides of his arms covered in ink that had not completely dried while he continued to create! And then came the realization that a single scrapbook marker cost less than even a store-bought card would have cost, but no price can be put on a card made by my child – just for me! A card made with no prompting from dad or a teacher at school. A card made by a little boy who loves his mom and wanted to tell her so!
Did he disobey? Yes. Should he have asked first? Probably so. Would I have said yes had he asked? Not likely. Is a scrapbook marker worth the broken spirit of my child? Absolutely not!
No “Mother of the Year” awards here! Just a huge apology to a sweet little boy and a desire to be better than that. And for those of you who know me well, you know there has been guilt and self-condemnation to follow. And now there is a big, yellow card with green marker proudly displayed on my mantle, just under the Thomas Kinkade. And it may be there for a while!
Thank you God for my sweet Noah. In a wonderfully difficult way he teaches me more about You every day. Thank you for Your forgiveness, Your grace, Your mercy and especially Your patience with this Mom who loves so much, but fails so often.