As I put my girls to bed tonight, a simple thought entered my mind – What will my kids remember from our day? What will be their last thoughts as they drift off to sleep?
It’s been another one of THOSE days…you know the ones. Where neither of my girls was very interested in listening to me. They didn’t want to play…alone…or with each other…or outside…or inside. We have NO toys apparently.
Then when they finally wanted to play, it consisted of them running laps at full speed around our downstairs throwing one of those annoying quarter machine bouncy balls until my youngest ran head first into a wall. Screaming ensued. Blame, crying, yelling, you name it. Dinner was an epic fail.
On to bath…where I accidentally got shampoo in my youngest’s eyes and, as a result, sort of ignored my older daughter pretty much the entire bath time. So much so that she got out and got dressed without saying anything. I didn’t have my youngest’s favorite jammies washed like I had promised which only added to the crying about the shampoo in her eyes.
And now, here we are. Me laying with each of my girls for their nightly prayer, book and song.
I’m trying to gloss over the day and talk about what we can do differently tomorrow for a better day.
I’m not mad so much as disappointed. Not even disappointed in my girls. Disappointed in the way our time together went, disappointed I didn’t handle things better, disappointed I couldn’t turn things around when it was so evident that the day was NOT going well.
I’m running through my own actions and attitude today in my mind – did I raise my voice today? Is that what they will remember?
Did I praise them in those rare moments today when they were getting along? Is that what they will remember?
Did they enjoy our little craft today? Is that what they will remember? Or will they remember the sigh I accidentally let out when my 3 year old dumped the bottle of pink glitter all over the floor?
When my girls are thinking their last cognizant thoughts before drifting off to dream land, will they be good ones about our day? Will they be happy thoughts or will they remember me being frustrated? Worse yet, will they in any way feel THEY disappointed me?
And so I put them to sleep, say a silent extra prayer for God to give me a little more patience tomorrow. I remind myself that they are 3 and 5 and everything that happened today is well within the range of normal for their age. I think about all the joy they bring me each and every day…even on our rough days. I think about the sweet picture my 5 year old colored just for me today that said I luv you mommee. I think about the bear hug my 3 year old gave me when she dropped the glitter.
And I know – I know that this won’t be the last day like this. That they will argue. That they will not always listen to me. And big shocker here…I will still make mistakes raising them.
So along with my prayer, I cling to the hope that my girls will love me in spite of my flaws, just as I do them. And that the good I do each day as their mom will far outweigh any mistakes. And that, even on our worst days, my girls will know I love them more than could ever be measured on this earth. That no matter what, I could never stop loving them.
And that one day, when they are older and more mature, they will realize that in many ways, I’m just like them. I have good days and bad days. And my attitude will often reflect that.
And as I lay them down to sleep, I hope they remember my reassuring voice saying our prayers and me singing their favorite song, Amazing Grace. And I pray that I too remember God’s grace is there for me as well, giving me strength to forgive myself for today and lean on him for our better tomorrows.