Not in the Scrapbook

Today, I am tired with no specific reason why, for I went to bed early, sleeping until the last possible minute before Thomas headed to work. I know I have perfect reasons to be tired—growing a baby, caring for a toddler,

CEO of a household, and teaching 2 days a week, but it is not really one of those specifically impacting me today. I am, for the lack of better words,  “blah.” And, to be honest, the blah has made me treat my son differently. I, like most folks, have a shorter fuse when in a bad mood, and the things we might normally do to pep me or him up are not viable options on bad weather days (going to the park, playing in his new sandbox, blowing bubbles outside, etc.). We, therefore, hobbled through the morning until naptime. With Daniel napping, I really wanted to sit on the couch and watch some brainless TV, but a huge storm front is currently coming through, and the only thing on my non-cable television is the local weatherman’s storm warnings, Doppler radar images, and pictures of hail and funnel clouds.

Alternatively, I decided to check my GoogleReader. After reading a few blog posts, I came across one from a family we use to attend church with before moving. In fact, Steven and his wife, Michelle, taught our SS class, and they had a second daughter just a few weeks before Daniel was born. They were truly a wonderful couple. Sadly, my use of past tense is correct, for Michelle passed away very suddenly just over a year ago. I watched Steven live out my worst nightmare. As he attempted to juggle sudden single parenthood, a job as a professor, and extreme grief, he somehow stayed in one piece. His post I read today told of how he made a digital photo book of ‘08, in attempts
to keep with the tradition his wife set of constructing elaborate, heirloom worthy, scrapbooks. Briefly, he mentioned what was in the book. Next, he took a moment to say what wasn’t: “So what’s not there? Well, there are no pictures of
the days in January I spent laying on the floor, crying uncontrollably. There are no pictures of the nights I lost my temper and threw cups down the hall. Nothing to show how dead to the world I was some days, and nothing to indicate
how lonely some days were (and still are sometimes).”

If that does not touch your heart, you might want to go and get yours checked. Reading this entry after being in my blah, tired mood made me think of how humans, mommies especially, tend to leave out details of a crummy day, and we fill our photo albums, blogs, conversations, and status updates with the things that make us and our family look good: smiling faces, awards won, promotions earned, milestones reached, but rarely do we admit, as Steven did, to the bad moments, the times when we do not have it all together.Everything is always “good.”

So, in a sort of confession mode (1 John 1:9), here are some things that occurredthis morning, which are out of my norm and definitely not scrapbook worthy:

  • I did not show the interest Daniel deserved when he kept
    trying to show me things.
  • I gave him time-out for not listening when I should have
    given him more time to respond to/understand my request.
  • I put in a Veggie movie and sat next to him reading a
    magazine because that was easier than having to interact and take my “turn
    momma” after he growled, hopped, or clapped.
  • I served a less than well-balanced lunch of milk, peas, and
    mandarin oranges in an effort to not have to fix anything else.
  • I did not read him a book before nap, even though he asked
    me to do so.
  • I yelled at him “Go to sleep!” from downstairs when he cried
    for me to turn on his light during naptime.

There you go.

And although I know none of you ever thought it, I am not perfect. I get angry and frustrated. I totally miss the mark, and my excuses for doing so are much less respectable than Steven’s. It is, however, on days
like today, that I am thankful for the forgiving nature of a toddler. He will wake up and remember nothing of the unfair time-out and the unnecessary yell. Instead, Daniel will wake up and love me so much, thinking I am the best mommy
ever. Isn’t that a relief! And, for the people that do remember ill-treatment, I am forever grateful to be covered in Christ’s forgiveness.

My plan is not to blog only Debbie Downer posts, but I do think there is something to be said for showing humanness, and I am certain that others of you have less than scrapbook worthy moments,
which just might need to be shared.

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