|The day I promised to be the perfect mother|
(Watch and see the video here The Reflection)
And within minutes my mood changed....
Suffice it to say I am a morning person, Caroline is not. It was not a pleasant ride, and if I'm really honest, I was glad when she got out of the car--the feeling, I'm sure, was mutual. Almost the entire way, okay the entire way home, I had many thoughts--none loving.
I walked back into our home tears stinging my eyes--I didn't know if they were tears of sadness, anger or perhaps because I had just walked barefoot across an icy driveway. "You're going to have to start helping with driving her to school, " I spat at Chris at the same time he tried to say "Good morning," "I am sick of it all..." "Are you going to work out?" Chris strategically interrupted, I'm sure to avoid the tirade that was simmering....
I stormed up the stairs to get dressed. I sat on the floor tying my shoes and the words from the video replayed in my head and I thought, "Well there it is. The part of me I need God to love--the ugly part. I mean seriously what kind of mother thinks these thoughts and even sometimes says them? I want to ignore them; I want to run away and seriously I just told my youngest child I didn't want to take her on her final spring break?!?!" (And just the night before I made a statement about the children and Chris said, "That sounds like something your mother would say..." words he has rarely ever said.)
I continued to think about the last 48 hours and how angry and hurt I was by the children--things said and left unsaid; done and left undone. I thought to myself about how I've spent my life trying to be the perfect mother. The little voice in my head, the one I don't like very much, said, "Yes and sometimes you try too hard..." Truth. But still--all I've ever wanted was to be a good mother, a loving mother, a forgiving mother, a mother whose children always feel loved, welcomed and accepted. A mother whose children, I admit it, I wanted to be, still want to be, adored. Instead, here I was thinking (and meaning) these horrible thoughts about my children. "But they are so ungrateful", I continued in my rage, "I've spent my life trying to be the perfect mother..."BIG PAUSE
"Actually," that voice in my head said, "Perhaps that is the ugly part--it sort of sounds arrogant to me. What makes you think you can be the perfect mother? What makes you even think you know what the perfect mother is? Maybe the perfect mother isn't what they need." I stormed back down the stairs with the stupid voice trailing behind.
The last few days had been and continue to be emotional--maybe it's age, maybe it's approaching empty nest, maybe it's hormones, maybe it's all of the above or something totally different. I have no idea. But I've been especially sensitive. I also think, and still think, they have been unkind and relentless (some I may have deserved).
As I worked out, much to my chagrin, my anger and hurt didn't subside. I wanted to write about this and tie it up neatly in a little bow--you know the perfect story that tells how God spoke to me (and it would be good if God could also speak to them--now the voice is appalled again--stupid voice) and we all kissed and hugged and sang kumbaya.
We did laugh some last night; I still held and maybe even still hold some anger and definitely some hurt. But I'm not a perfect mother and it's not a perfect story--
But I believe God loves the whole story--the perfect and the imperfect. And I know the rest will come.