The small glass hits the table and milk cascades over the edge like a waterfall, creating a white pool on the carpet.
The cliche “don’t cry over spilled milk” comes to mind as I spring into action.
Whoever came up with that cliche didn’t have new carpet.
“I’m sorry mommy!” Jordan wales with his giant brown eyes staring tearfully into mine.
His chubby cheeks just scream “pinch me!”
How I love those kissable little cheeks.
But wait, I’m annoyed.
Can’t let his cuteness distract me.
I spout off some lame reprimand on exactly where on his placemat his glass is to be at all times, and how if he followed instructions this mess would never have happened.
My tone is edgy.
It’s probably the thirty fifth time I have had to correct one of my youngsters today,
and it’s only lunch time.
He feels bad, I can tell.
And so do I.
Why am I so frustrated?
Why do I let things get to me?
But let’s be honest, after a while even the smallest things add up to something.
I have found that as my children grow older,
I become increasingly annoyed with the sound of my own voice,
mainly because I hear it so often,
repeating the same things over and over and over.
“Clean your room!”
“Make your bed!”
Man does it get old after a while.
No, I do not expect my preschoolers to be perfect little angels (although hey, a mom can dream right?)
But it would be nice for them to eventually catch on to what’s expected of them, ya know?
I have this constant pit in my stomach on the trauma that I may or may not be inflicting on my youngsters.
I get compliments all the time on how sweet and well behaved my boys are, so I guess I must be doing something right…
…but still, I have doubts.
Mostly in myself I guess.
How does a girl who was never really fathered or mothered correctly become a good mother?
It’s so easy to talk about what it means to parent effectively, but it’s different living it out on a day by day basis.
How do you keep your voice soft and calm when inside you are screaming with irritation?
How do you keep them from throwing one of their tantrums when inside you find yourself on the verge of one.
I have a hard time “winging it” with things like this, which is admittedly what I have ended up doing most of the last five years of my existence as a mom.
I hate the thought of each of my kids being test dummies for the process of a better me.
We learn from our mistakes, sure, but I hate the thought of them suffering because I’m still trying to figure things out.
Although, every kid is different, so i guess all of us are kind of stumbling around in the dark.
We learn from trial and error, and what worked for our first kid may fail with our second kid.
I guess that’s why you see so many parents of teenagers, now independent in thought, so at a loss.
None of us have “done it before,” at least not with the exact child in front of us.
Maybe God does that on purpose, to keep us reliant on him.
If we knew all the answers, humans, being the way we are, wouldn’t feel much of a need to depend in Him.
Maybe it’s a gift to have it all be such a guessing game.
Nothing adds a little spice and adventure like never really knowing what’s around the corner.
We will all have problems, that’s a fact.
Some of us will face harder challenges than others, but it is not without rewards.
It wont matter how many wrinkles and grey hairs I get, as long as they are from the countless moments that sparked a smile.
It won’t matter how many nights I stayed in, as long as I was there to tuck them in and say goodnight.
It won’t matter how many dishes I washed, or shirts I folded, as long as their bellies were always full, and they always had something to wear.
It won’t matter how many sleepless nights I had, protecting them from monsters or cleaning up vomit, as long as they always knew they were safe and loved.
Yes, the rewards far outweigh the sacrifices.
Because someday those little boys will become men,
Men of God,
Men of character,
Men I know I will be proud of.
When we focus on the wonder and beauty that our every day is,
And when we picture the end result,
it makes everything a little easier to get through,
Even if it is something as small as spilled milk.