An Ugly Reminder.

So as I type I'm sitting in McDonald's on a Saturday afternoon, sipping on a Diet Coke {shocking, I know}. What I'm not doing? I'm not eating french fries or the three for a buck chocolate chip cookies. And that's a pretty big "yeah me" because this past Monday I began the journey, once again, to control my eating. To get back on track.

I'm not sure when and where I fell off the proverbial wagon, and yet here I am, picking myself up, asking God to help me in this journey. I so want to be done with this journey and I find it so incredibly hard. SO HARD.

I've recently picked up a book called "Made To Crave" by Lisa Tykrherst (sp?) that I think has the potential to revolutionize my life. I've read a few chapters already and I think I've underlined, starred and circled more than in any book ever. It's like she jumped inside my head and wrote down my thoughts. If you want to know my struggle with food and over-eating, just read the book and you'll know.

Anyway, I'm hope-filled and hopeful that with God's help I can get healthy in my eating.

That was all for free.

The real reason for this post is that a lady and her two kids just left the table next to me and I just watched and listened with sadness as she interacted with her kids. A four-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy. She was clearly exhausted.

And it's not necessarily that the words she said were wrong. The little girl was being naughty and not listening to her mommy. But it was the tone in which she said those words. She wasn't gentle or kind or tender; things a mother should be. She was sharp and impatient and unkind.

And I turned my head to the wall and started to cry. Because the reality is, I was just that way with Maddie. Yesterday. And probably the day before if I'm being brutally honest. Yesterday in particular we were at odds because her room had slipped out of control and into the garbage dump. I mean, the clutter and mess was out.OF.control. Oh mercy. And so I was on her for several hours after school.

I'm not sure why it is that Maddie tends to push my buttons quicker and more often than Jackson. Maybe it's just this stage of life where she's figuring out her boundaries. She's wanting independence. I don't know.

I think there are times when I forget Maddie is only eight. And I struggle with that balance because she is only eight. Yet she is 8. And there are things that an eight-year-old should be able to do and not do.

All that to say, I just saw an ugly reminder of what I do not want to be and who I sometimes am. A mother whose tone shouts weariness and impatience and unkindness. I needed the reminder to push me to refocus and listen to myself as I interact with Maddie and Jackson. I want to be a mother that oozes gentleness and calmness.

Last night, as I gave Maddie goodnight hugs and kisses, I asked her to forgive me for my impatience that day. She said, "That's okay, Mom." And I said, "No, Maddie, it isn't okay. It was wrong of Mommy to be harsh and impatient. Will you forgive me?" And she said, "Yes, Mom. You're the best Mom ever."

I gave her a kiss, held her tight, walked out of her room, and burst into tears. Talk about unconditional love, the love of a child.

I'm thankful for second chances and unconditional love, all wrapped up in an eight-year-old girl!


allison simon said…
maybe I'm just emotional this week but that made me cry....because I have been soooo impatient lately and want to be that kind, gentle mom. Kids are such a blessing because they are soooo forgiving and generous with their love. They are good reminders on how we should behave...except when they turn over a dresser like my boys did the other day, oh my! I never knew motherhood would be such a difficult and rewarding job!
Alice said…
I have been very impatient lately too, because I am so tired. It has helped me to remember my mom who I know got extremely exhausted a lot of the time and lost her patience with us, too. Yet my overall impression and memory of her as a mom is a gentle, loving person. I think the key is when you went to apologize--that is really what she will remember.
Alysa said…
Allison and Alice, So true what you both shared. It is good that we're not alone in all of this, and it is good to be reminded that our children are so loving and so forgiving ... and that they are blessings and treasures and need to be treated as such. Just not always, easy. =) But so worth the extra effort to be patient and kind. So worth it.
amywb said…
This hits home for me, too, Alysa. My mom recently noted that she thinks little kids love grandparents so much because grandparents express huge joy every time they see their grandchildren. That was a wake up call for me. I do not express huge joy every time I see my kids. I am often irritable, stern and frustrated. And I feel like I hover outside my body watching, saying "stop, stop, stop," and I don't. This was a timely post for me. Thanks for being so transparent. I really want to change, too.

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