Thursday, November 8, 2012

For Maxwell

Tonight I was wrong. It was a little thing, but I hurt Maxwell's feelings. And he's old enough to get it. It disappointed him, but it crushed me. I'm so flawed. And having kids exposes this daily. This may be better suited for a journal, but this is my journal. I still feel like this is my baby book. So Maxwell, this one's for you.

Hi Buddy,
Tonight I embarrassed you in front of your friends. I was frustrated with your bad dinner manners and I was ready to throw you in the shower to wash the applesauce out of your hair. Instead you ran outside and started yelling at the neighbor kids next door. I was tired and didn't want a play date. But instead of explaining that, I came out and yelled at you in that ugly voice I sometimes use. Your face fell and your lip began to quiver. You burst into tears and ran inside. You weren't just crying because you didn't like what I was telling you to do, you were crying because I had embarrassed you in front of your friends, the big kids. I apologized to them for yelling and then I looked for you in the house.

"I just wanted to tell Justin hi," you yelled at me. "I want alone time." I felt so, so sorry I had hurt your feelings because I was being impatient. And then you were imitating that ugly yell that I just used. I've lost my temper before. Many times, I'm sure. But this time you were older and it was different. I let you have space for a few minutes then I came back to your room. I explained to you that I was sorry for embarrassing you and I asked for your forgiveness. You didn't say anything so I left you alone for a few more minutes. When you came out you ran into my arms and said, "I like you Mom." I asked you again to forgive me and you hugged me tight and said, "I forgive you."

Your forgiveness is the most beautiful gift I can receive. I know I'll disappoint you again and again but I pray I will always be quick to admit when I'm wrong. I'm aware of your soft heart and I pray God teaches me the best way to protect that. You are mischievous, wild, and a little...aggressive. Sometimes that makes me lose my patience. My prayer is to know which battles to pick, even with you as a three year old. You act so rough but in the next breath you are so sensitive and so affectionate. It's my job to discipline you, but it's also my job to foster the heart and character that you were born with. That's a big job son! It's all I ever really wanted. I love being your Mommy. Thank you for forgiving me today. I love you so, so, SO much.

~Mom, Mommy, Mama

I read this article a few weeks ago (so good) and was challenged to remember to include myself in photographs. As imperfect as I may feel, or as awkward as it is to hand off the camera to someone else and ask for a photo to be taken...I want my kids to have visual memories of us together. I want them to see the way that I look at them, the love that I have for them. This is what the article says, but way more articulately. So in keeping with this as my 'baby book' here are some photos of me and my boy. I don't like the way I look right now, so I notice I don't hand the camera off anymore. These are all older photos and I'm SO much thinner. But I guarantee he doesn't see me differently.



Chicago Mom (Heather) said...

Those pictures are beautiful. And you are an awesome mommy.

I hate my ugly yelling voice. Keira now uses it sometimes. It's so hard to be a good example ALL the time.

bandofbrothers said...

i can totally relate to what you wrote. you are a sweet beautiful mama, inside and out.

molly june. said...

this post got me teary.
we can all relate as momma's & you wrote it so well.
and, you are absolutely beautiful with your kids. i love seeing your face in pics :)