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Friday, December 19, 2014

Lessons In Grace


It's been a stressful two weeks around here.

As most of you already know.

As I grapple with my depression over things I really shouldn't be depressed about (I'm ridiculous. It's official.) and prepare for another hectic holiday season that I am dreading more than words can express, the act of getting out of bed every day and plastering a smile on my face has taken every ounce of energy I can muster.

To say that my parenting is suffering is an understatement.

Add a bouncing,constantly talking, opiniated, are-you-sure-your-not-going-to-be-thirteen-tomorrow, five year old girl to that mix, and it's only a matter of time before you officially lose it.

And I did.

Last night.

Over pink blush.

****

My daughter's Christmas play was last night at the Luthern school where she attends kindergarten. She has been talking about this play and her very small part for weeks. 

Literally

In addition to quoting her single line 3,000 times a day, she had been begging me to allow her to wear the white Christmas dress my mother had bought for her and I know why. 

This winter white dress is gorgeous. It's a simple sheath with a gold bow at the neck. My mother had bought winter white tights with little gold circles all over them to go with the dress, and these adorable gold shoes adorn with pretty little butterflies. The best part of the whole dress is the coat that goes with it. It's a long winter white dress coat with a fur collar and fur around the wrists and these beautiful little gold buttons that just completes the entire outfit. 

I too had been very excited for her to finally wear it. 

So, last night we left a little early and went straight home. I sat her in my bathroom and painstakingly attempted to curl her long strawberry blonde hair with my curling iron. 

For the record, I am NOT a hair stylist. I can barely manage to control my own shoulder length bob, so for me to take the time to attempt to curl her beautiful hair is quite a task. 

Anyway, she was very good and sat very still while she watched a Disney show on my iPad. It took me about 45 minutes, but I finally got all of it to curl. 

It looked perfect.

Afterwards, we went into her room and slipped on the dress, tights, and shoes and finished the look by putting a winter white headband that was adorn with glittery gold flowers in her hair. 

She looked gorgeous. 

Her strawberry blonde hair looked so pretty next to the winter white fabric, and I couldn't wait to get a picture. 

I had about 20 minutes to get myself ready, so I rushed into my bathroom and left her to play in her room while I touched up my make up and put on something slightly more festive than the jeans I had worn to work.

I noticed she was being awfully quiet, and I said to her from my bathroom as I applied my make up, 

"I hope you're not doing anything that's going to get all over that dress, Emma!"

She responded that she wasn't and I turned my attention back to the mirror. 

It wasn't even five minutes later and there she was standing next to me in my bathroom-apologizing, with bring pink play-blush all down the front of her white dress. 

I snapped. 

Literally.

<Enter ragging lunatic stage right.> 

I yanked the dress off of her-yelling and ranting all the while-as I rushed to the kitchen and scrubbed furiously trying to get it out.

It wasn't pretty. 

I've never seen her sit so. still. 

****


Obviously, it was NOT my proudest moment.

It was one of those moments in my motherhood journey that will serve as a reminder that I'm still allowing certain things to have control over me and that control is impacting everything in my life not just my parenting. 

I took a deep breath, re-dressed my crying child, and did what had to be done: I whispered an apology into those very sad, hazel eyes. 

She smiled and instantly threw her arms around me.

Forgiveness. 

These moments of grace are when I find myself the most thankful. 

I'm thankful for her forgiveness when there is no do-over. 

I'm thankful for her unconditional love when I am being very unloveable.

I'm thankful for her laughter and chatter that fills the car after a very bad moment. 

I'm thankful that when I am at my weakest, she still manages to be my strength. 

Because motherhood isn't always beautiful.

Sometimes we make it ugly with our failures, our imperfections, and our pure human-ness. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in the heartaches of this world that we forget the people who have been placed in our lives to bind up our wounds and forgive us even on our darkest days. 

I am humbled by them.

But, more importantly, I am humbled by her and her ability to see me as beautiful, even when I am at my ugliest. 

These are the moments that remind me that I am her mother. 

Just me.

Because that type of unconditional love cannot be bought...it is born. 

It thrives in the flesh of my flesh.

The blood of my blood.

The heart of my heart. 

I lose sight of just how strong our bond is sometimes.

And then she reminds me of it with her grace. 

Over and over. 

****

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