Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grace

We had our upstairs bathroom cabinets painted today. Which means, due to the workmen, Eva Rose got no nap, and that is almost always the foreshadowing of doom.

5:00, midnight of the Witching Hour, we arrive home from swim lessons. I went upstairs to get something, telling her twice not to come up after me. She came up after me. I fussed at her and sent her back downstairs. Do NOT go up the stairs.

Made dinner. Fed children. Reminded her, twice, do NOT go up the stairs. Sat down for forty seconds to breathe and get a Twitter update. Heard screaming. Eva Rose's hands are both covered in paint. White, oil based paint from my newly painted bathroom cabinets which now have two handprints on them. Marred before they even had a chance to dry.

I did not handle it well. Not well at all, my friends, not well at all.

Not well at all.

Her defiance is a common theme in this house. And it wears me out. And sometimes the effects are ugly.

Later, still angry, I hold her on the kitchen floor, and she asks, why are you holding me? Because I love you, I say. Even when you don't obey.

And, I think to myself, because I feel totally guilty.

So now, hours later, I sit on the couch as she sleeps upstairs, so tired I hurt, and feeling like the worst mom ever.

I know I had a reason to be mad. But I just wish I had handled it better. And I wonder what damage I am doing to her. I wonder what she will be telling her therapist in a few years. That she never really felt like her mother loved her? That her mom was always angry at her? That she always felt like she was in trouble? Like she wasn't good enough? Like the black sheep in the family??

Walker hooks up the laptop for me and I blog bounce watch Judge Judy. My personal escapism. I come across Moriah, who blogs about how she took her eyes off her own three year old daughter for one moment at the pool, and her daughter slipped under water. She's fine, but it was a scary moment. And it probably made Moriah feel like a bad mom.

I comment to her:
Oh, thank God our babies' Father watches when we mothers drop the ball.

I read it to make sure there are no misspellings. Make sure I got the plural possessive right.

And then I listen to my own words.

My baby's Father is watching her, even when I drop the ball.

Her destiny is not in my hands. It is in His. His hands are far more powerful than my own. And they are always perfect, and always gentle, and always loving, and always full of grace.

Even towards me, His little girl, who desperately needs some grace tonight. And receives it, abundantly.

Because He loves me, even when I don't obey.

Amen.

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