All of us has at least one moment.
The one we’re not particularly keen about.
From time to time, we’ve all been the yelly mom, the bossy mom, the despondent mom, the burnt out mom. But there was a day last week when I became the mom who felt like a failure. In every way.
The details don’t matter much. But I found myself, standing in my living room, with a baby on my hip and tears bubbling up. I let the teenager know to hold down the fort for 20 minutes because I had an errand to run. I buckled Gianna in her carseat, grabbed my keys and pulled out of the driveway.
And then I lost it.
Like full-on ugly cry.
Sorry, my sweet neighbors, for filling the streets with tears. Also, thank God for aviator sunglasses. They hide many a mascara-stained face.
You see, this Lent has broken open my heart in ways that I did not think possible. When our dear friends lost their sons last fall, something in me changed. It wasn’t just the deaths that rocked me (because they most certainly did), but I started asking myself “why this?”, “why now?” and inevitably, “what do you want me to do?”
The hours I have spent at Mass, even with a busy toddler, have been my saving grace. The prayers I have prayed. The tears I have cried. I think when something punches you in the gut, you only have two choices: get closer to God of further away from Him. I chose the former, but it has been full of some hard moments of honesty.
It’s also done one, amazing, beautiful thing.
It’s brought me even closer to Scott. And, amidst all these crazy teenage parenting moments, I am so very grateful for that gift. It could only come from God. We’re a team, Scott and I. We forged the early days of babies together, the NICU together, marriage counseling together and parenting teenagers together. And, God-willing, we’ll do old age together.
God always sends the grace. He does.
I look back on my life just six months ago. I was hobbling around on crutches, sending kids off to school, largely unaware of how much growing up I had to do. Yet, here I am. I’m meeting my deficiencies with a surprising amount of self-awareness. Yikes. It is not pretty sometimes. Please, God, help my kids to see me as a fallible, loving, God-fearing mom who would do anything for them. Help them know I am not perfect, that I’m willing to ask for forgiveness and I am a work in progress. Aren’t we all?
There will be more days of tears, sadness and frustration. But there will also be days – many of them – of joy, elation and peace. Here’s to motherhood. The good, the hard and the beautiful.