Last night, I felt like I let my daughter down. She had dance class and during her class, I usually have to go to the car to feed Brennan because the waiting area of the dance studio is so crowded. Last night I went to the car and fed him and came back upstairs around 6pm. There are times where the teacher will allow us to come into the classroom to watch them for the last 5-10 minutes of class so I always want to be back in case she asks us to come in. Last night after I arrived back in the overcrowded hallway of moms who were all hoping to catch a glimpse of their child through one small window and doorway, Brennan began to cry and since there wasn’t anywhere to sit, I went around the corner to find a spot where I could soothe him. Around this corner, I could not hear or see what the other moms were doing. Brennan calmed down and after I put him back in his carrier, picked it up and rounded the corner at almost 6:15pm, I was greeted by an empty hallway because all of the parents were inside the classroom watching the kids dance. An overwhelming feeling of failure hit me, I had missed out on an opportunity to see her dance. Although I have seen her dance a million times at home, this was different, I am sure that she had looked for me and wondered why I wasn’t there. It broke my heart when she made eye contact with me and said “Mom, I didn’t see you”, I felt like I had let her down. The worst part was that I was there but was around the corner and didn’t know that the teacher was going to ask us to come in. I, then, found myself getting angry at everyone else, why doesn’t the teacher give us a heads up so we would know that she will be asking us to come in, and why didn’t one of the moms I was talking to come and look for me. I was angry because I felt like such a failure. My beautiful little girl wanted to show off to me, her mom, and see how proud I was of her, it is a moment that I can’t get back. I know that it seems like a small detail and maybe it is, but it felt big in that moment. This guilty feeling is something that I have become all too familiar with. As moms, we feel guilty if we work outside of the home, we feel guilty if we stay home but want to have some time alone, we feel guilty that we can’t do it all, we feel guilty that dinner didn’t turn out right, we feel guilty for missing something that is a milestone for our child, we feel guilty that we aren’t doing more for others, we feel guilty that we don’t make everything homemade or that we aren’t crafty enough, we feel guilty for just about everything. Often I think that we make it our mission to beat ourselves up and then when we have had enough of that, we try to beat up other moms or women fueled by our own insecurity and guilty conscious over things that often don’t matter. Last night after I felt like an utter failure, Lucy showed me grace and forgiveness. I told her that I was so sorry that I missed watching her dance and that I didn’t know or I would have been there. She said, “Mommy, I forgive you. You didn’t do anything wrong. I love you mommy. You are a good driver and good at chopping down trees, you do that all the time.” Leave it to her to throw in something random about chopping down trees, but it definitely made me laugh. I thought about it, and although I was consumed with the speck of dirt, she saw me so differently, she saw me through the eyes of love and grace, heck she thought that I have been really good at chopping down trees and that I do it all the time. Isn’t that how God sees us, isn’t that a much fuller perspective of who we are? Instead of beating ourselves up with overwhelming guilt with some insane strive for perfection, we have to pick ourselves up, admit our failures and shortcoming and embrace grace. I am so thankful that my daughter thinks that I cut down trees.
A video a friend posted this week, so good (it will make you cry)