“What do you remember about your childhood?" I asked.
Even as I said the words, I thought to myself, You do not want to hear this.
Oh, let them remember it differently than I do, I thought. Please.
The yelling. I yelled too much. I was angry and annoyed and so exhausted all the time. Nobody slept. Exhaustion made me crazy. I skipped pages in books. I said, "In a few minutes, okay?" way too much. My mind wandered when they were telling me things. Important things.
Sometimes, I hid from them. And not because we were playing Hide and Seek.
The bar was too high. My peers had it together.That's what I saw, at least. Their kids were always dressed in matching outfits. I was lucky if my kids were dressed. They were always saying "please" and using plural pronouns. I said things like, "Don't pee in the grass!" And I have girls.
I did not show my children the Fruit of the Spirit like I should have. Love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—fail. I was too tired to read my Bible. Prayers came only in moments of desperation. Dishes piled up. I didn't take them to the park enough, do underdogs, or tell enough stories. I told them, “Every other child in the world is sleeping right now!” I didn't play Candyland and never took them to Disney.
Leave the room quickly. They'll never notice. Must do laundry.
"It was awesome!" she said.
"I don't remember anything," said another.
"Really?" Breath released.
The Lord is faithful. Truly and so abundantly.
Stay the course, sisters! Mothering is hard work, but good and holy work. We are training soldiers of the cross, and we fail. Yes. We, every one of us, fail over and over, but He never fails. He loves them perfectly and in ways we could never. We're called to stay the course, to get up and keep trying, and to rely on Him for strength.
There’s a lot we didn’t do, and many things I didn’t do well. But, we made sheet-forts. Looked at clouds. Picked bunches of daffodils. I let them play in mud, dance in rain, climb trees, and run barefoot. We played charades, picked blueberries. I told stories, sang "Jesus Loves Me," and sometimes read just one more. I comforted, smoothed away tears, held. They were loved deeply and really.
Thank you, Jesus.
And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Author: Melissa Bronson