I seem to always be reminding myself that things tend to work out.
I know there’s a college for everyone. I know life goes on even if a certain kid has been excluded from a team, a party, an event, a carpool, etc. I know we’ll be okay even if the kids have completely botched a project, failed a test or if I have forgotten to show up to see a presentation.
One daughter reminded me the other day, as we were discussing her younger brother’s Patriot Day report and presentation scheduled for this week, “You know you forgot to come to all but one of my presentations when I was in 4th grade.”
“I did?” I ask, thinking that surely she’s wrong, knowing she’s probably right.
“Yup. All but one. In fact on my Patriot Day presentation, I reminded you in carpool as you were dropping me off. Remember? I was Clara Barton? Remember my white t-shirt we sewed the red cross onto?”
Yes … it was all coming back to me. “And I didn’t come?”
“No. Miss Baxter asked me after the presentations for that day were over if I wanted to do mine again with the rest of the reports the next day. But since Margaret & I had already shredded our note cards, I said ‘No’.”
“Did it hurt your feelings that I wasn’t there?”
“Nahh… Maybe a little … But, I know you love me. … Actually, I think its kind of funny how you forget.”
I do forget. I have good intentions. Really great intentions. I just sometimes get going and forget where I’m supposed to be. With five kids and the month of May craziness in addition to other real life stuff (particularly rocky that kid’s 4th grade year)… I sometimes feel like I’m hanging by a wing and a prayer.
And you know? Her response was music to my ears. Above all the other things I hope for them, I want them to know they’re loved.
I guess it’s good for them to learn how to be flexible, maybe how to deal with disappointment, definitely how to stand on their own. But, if they know they’re loved, everything seems a bit smoother.
Yes, I will mess up. I will for sure embarrass them. I might even forget to show up because I can be flaky and because sometimes life is rocky. But I love them. So much more than they will ever know. So much more than I thought possible.
I hope they know they’re loved so they don’t search for someone or something to define them or to prop themselves up. I hope they know they’re loved so they don’t fill a void with things that don’t love them back. I hope they know they’re loved so they can be free to grow into the unique and gifted people they were created to be.
Then maybe with a little taste of less than perfect love from me, I hope they will run to the One who loves them unconditionally. That’s really solid ground that never forgets and that unlike me, goes far beyond great intentions to completely fulfilled promises.
Now off to add a few reminder alarms to my calendar and to a find Ulysses S Grant outfit. Good thing that kid knows what to expect from me – a little flakiness and a lot of love.
Thanks for walking the road with me.