Sunday, July 5, 2015
These are words I swore many, many years ago my kids would never say to me. I was going to be that mom that came to everything, supported everything, participated in everything.
It only took until the end of Caedmon’s kindergarten year for me to break that promise.
I have so many justifications and excuses for why I didn’t show up: Asher was getting over a sickness and had fallen asleep after an intense physical therapy appointment, it was raining and his school said they would cancel the event if it rained, Adam was busy all day with appointments and was unavailable. The truth is, I could have done so many things differently: swing by the school or at least call to see if the event was still happening, wake Asher up after a short nap, it really wouldn’t have killed him, call Adam to see if he had a little wiggle room.
The fact is I did none of these things and I made assumptions. And so I missed Caedmon’s very first sports day.
As Caedmon climbed into the car at the end of the day, I see big tears in his eyes and hear the reproach in his voice.
‘Where were you, Mommy?!
You said you were coming and you didn’t come!
I was the last one in everything!
Dash (real name) won everything and made fun of me!
Why weren’t you there?!’
Every word is a stab to my heart, manifold by my own mom-guilt.
There was a lot of apologizing, a lot of explaining, trying to make him understand that I love him and I support him and I will be there for him in the future. But it doesn’t take away the hurt of the moment or the feeling of letdown.
Not to mention the pain of losing that we can’t even focus on yet because the pain of mom and dad missing this day is too fresh. How do I help Caedmon see that he is an amazing kid? How do I help him see that losing at a sports day is a teeny tiny insignificant nothing compared to all the wonderful things he wins at everyday, like loving and resiliency and courage and humor? The truth is I missed that opportunity because I wasn’t there, I wasn’t present in that moment and so I missed that teaching opportunity.
And man does that hurt! It hurts so much it has taken me over a month to actually sit down and write this blog.
But the truth is that I have made and am going to make a lot more mistakes in my career as a mom. As hard as I will try and as much as I won’t want to, I know I will let Caedmon and Damek and Asher down many more times in my lifetime. Because the truth is I am just a human and being human I make mistakes.
This is the point where I fall back again on the promise in Romans, God will work all things together for good to those who love Him. Do I believe God is big enough to work even my worst parenting mistakes for the good of my children? If I don’t, then I need to rethink the god I am serving. If I do, then I need to be willing to drop the guilt and shame at His feet and honestly thank Him for how He’s going to take every parenting triumph and mistake and create something spectacular for my kids and, what’s ever harder, for me. And when the time comes that I pick up the memory again and start rehashing my guilt, I need to be willing to carry it back to Him, drop it again, and again, and again, until it is really gone.
I really let Caedmon down. I made a big mistake. I can’t wait to see how God takes this and makes it into some extraordinary thing for Caedmon, and for me. And I can’t wait to be standing right in the front cheering him on at his next event because even mamas and daddies deserve grace and even mamas and daddies can grow and change and improve with time.