My little person is always hard at work. Whether she’s pretending with her dolls, or her “honeys” as she lovingly refers to them, reading books, or puzzling over a new question, she dedicates herself to the task at hand.This past week was spring break, and before we headed to the Moody Gardens in Galveston with family, we spent a couple of sunshine filled days at home. My love muffin enthusiastically helped me pick weeds from our yet to be planted garden. She would grip a vicious weed and pull with all her might, frequently proclaiming “we love hard work together, right mommy?” Every now and then she would stop and flex her arms with a “see how strong I am” squeal, and she hasn’t stopped asking when we will next weed again.We also built her GoldieBlox Dunk Set that she got for Christmas. With a furrowed brow and intense focus, those little fingers managed enough dexterity to piece rods and spinners together, until we had a functioning dunk tank. Each time we set it out to play, she bounces around on her tiny toes, clapping and giggling at the result of her hard work.Her curious mind never stops churning. She’s constantly mulling over something. While sometimes I’m prepared, at other times I’m completely blindsided, as I was on our drive to Galveston. We were laughing, talking, and singing, when out of the blue her voice became tearful as she asked why Jesus was held on the cross with “those pokey things.” I glanced back at her crestfallen face and trembling lower lip, and just froze. How do you explain that suffering to a confused and curious little heart?
My brain went haywire, as I dissolved into panic upon the realization that I had no idea how to translate my knowledge of the pokey things to my three-year old, which of course immediately led to guilt of inadequacy, one of a mother’s greatest fears. I’m thankful that in the three-and-a-half seconds it took for my mind to disintegrate into a smorgasbord of straight up crazy, my mom, my forever role model, responded with calm and warmth, that Jesus had those pokey things because He loved us and He saved us. Theology, three-year old style.
The worry that we’ll “mess up” as mothers is all too powerful at times. There are many moments that I have to stop and remind myself that I don’t have just one chance to formulate the perfect answer or to teach the perfect life lesson. We make mistakes every single day, and that’s okay. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, so when doubt creeps in, we need to remember who we are as mothers. I’m the mom who lets her daughter run around half-naked and covered in paint, the mom who forces herself to stand back as my little person struggles to climb to the top of that playscape, and I’m the mom who prays. Constantly.
A few nights later, my little one earnestly prayed at bedtime, Dear God, thank you for this day. Thank you for Ariel mermaid and taking Jesus off the Cross. Aaaaamen!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that we are not alone on this beautiful journey of motherhood. Thank you that we are not expected to get it right the first time, and that raising a child is a process of development. I pray that my daughter will be surrounded by mentors and teachers, who will set Godly examples of love, kindness, forgiveness, and courage. Thank you for touching little hearts and for stirring sweet souls with curiousity. Amen.