“Boys!” I yelled from the kitchen, “get in here!”
I heard them running down the stairs as I turned back to the mess I had just discovered on the counter. I keep sugar in a glass dish by the coffee supplies and it had been knocked over and spilled across the counter.
“Which one of you got into the sugar?”
“It wasn’t me,” they both insisted.
Of course, I didn’t believe them because no one ever makes the messes I find around the apartment. They just show up. There is marker on my furniture but I never catch either of them in the act. I step in a puddle (hoping it’s just water, every time) that neither of them spilled.
I know they like to stick their fingers into the sugar jar. What kid wouldn’t? And I try to keep it far enough back on the counter that they can’t reach, but apparently this day I didn’t. I gave them an angry lecture about leaving things alone in the kitchen and then sent them back upstairs to play.
I was angrier than I should have been. It wasn’t really about the sugar. I was upset at an entire morning of cleaning up after their carelessness. Already feeling guilty after scolding them so much over such a little offense I started cleaning up the mess.
Just then, Tim walked into the kitchen, “Oh, sorry. I spilled that earlier and forgot to clean it up.”
My hands stopped wiping it up and I slowly turned around and stared at him.
Now I really felt awful.
“Boys!” I yelled again, “come down here, please.”
Feeling like the World’s Worst Mom, I apologized and asked their forgiveness. Being the grace-filled, amazing guys that they are, all was forgiven.
I’m gonna mess up. A lot. So much of this parenting thing feels unnatural to me. I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. But I think that’s okay. I’ve learned the most important thing is to be humble enough to ask my kids forgiveness for my failings. They’re always ready to forgive.
They’re so small, but they teach me big things about God. I pray that I can be patient enough, and humble enough to learn.