I’ve been thinking about my last post (read it here) and how Sammy’s emotional response to the scooter situation was probably less one of empathy, as implied, and more one of disappointment. I think what really crushed Sammy’s little heart was my hypocrisy. I preach about sharing, about taking turns, about being gracious to others, but when the little boy asked me to share the scooter, my answer was “no.” Sammy couldn’t get his mind around the rationale — my concern for the safety of this child — and it was quite devastating for him to realize that his mother is a hypocrite just like everyone else!
Even though this particular example was something of a misunderstanding, the realization of a child that his or her mother is imperfect is a very good thing. On Mother’s Day, moms are rightfully celebrated, but let’s not pretend anyone in the history of the universe has ever had a perfect one. It’s not that I do not long to hear the perennial “You’re the Best Mom Ever” verbiage that is reserved for this day. I do. I want to be a great mom. But the truth is, I am riddled with flaws just like everyone else, and my boys know this. Not infrequently I have to explain to them how I’ve messed up and ask for forgiveness.
Today I am thankful that my boys are learning to forgive — a vital life lesson — through me. When I am inpatient, when I raise my voice (mostly at Nate, who is frustrating to me in part because in roughly ten thousand ways, that are both good and bad, he is exactly like me), when I interrupt, when I fall short each and every day, I am thankful for grace. That it is abundant. That it is never-ending. 1 John 1:9 says, “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
I realize that confessing sins and being cleansed from unrighteousness is not a typical Mother’s Day meditation, but there’s nothing to be gained and much to be lost in the motherhood charade of perfection. I am flawed. And so are you. May we confess our sins. May we recognize our need for a Lord and Savior. May we love our children better because we embrace the unmerited, unconditional, unfailing love of the universe: Jesus Christ!