I am realizing every day that I am in a season of becoming. We really all spend most of our lives becoming, but for someone who likes to check things off her list and see tangible accomplishment, the becoming is daunting. I am hopeful that I never settle for less than I was intended to be, just so I can achieve something.
Confession: I was walking to the school to pick up my little boy yesterday. It was a nice crisp Fall afternoon, the kind that are rare in Southern California. I had the baby and my three year old bundled up, several umbrellas in case it happened to rain and a nice homemade latte in my travel mug. Enjoyable? Yes. About three minutes into my walk, I got a call from the school. Oh no, I thought, Lucas is either hurt or in trouble. It turns out, he was neither, but I had completely forgotten that school gets out an hour early on Tuesdays. In one moment, all my confidence in motherhood, loving, and care-taking in general evaporated. I became the crummiest of mothers. I forgot my son at school. Forget that I was on my way, and that it is only the second week of early dismissal. Throw aside the fact that my thyroid has been off, which just makes me off. Completely devoid of any good excuse, I was paralyzed with the realization that my journey of becoming is still in its earliest stages.
I am still embarrassed, shaken, downright frustrated with myself. I had gotten so wrapped up in my other responsibilities that I forgot one of my greatest. How relieved am I that my son did not seem the least bit traumatized by this incident? How humbled I am that children are often more full of grace than we are as adults. I doubt, twenty-four hours after the fact, that he has even given it a second thought, and yet here I am still fussing at myself over this most horrifying moment of motherhood.
Today of course is a new day, full of new possibilities and little victories and its own mistakes. I am inspired by its newness. I am searching for revived passion, throwing unwarranted responsibility to the wind. Whoever said that if you made a meal plan you have to stick to it? What dictated that the house has to be spotless? Who cares if the laundry is put away or the mopped floors stay clean for more than an hour? See I live in a box whose walls I constructed. I’m breaking down its confines. Will I mess up again? Definitely. I’m a human, but will I mess up because I’m trying to be responsible? I hope never again.
I always imagined myself being over-the-top successful in a career. I never got around to the career I foresaw. I never dreamed that my days would be filled with wiping countless bottoms, magically erasing sharpie from walls and furniture, preparing meals, picking up dirty roos (what my kids call underware) and rolling in and out of bed with often nary a thought of my own fulfillment. It is easy to get discouraged when days pass and that’s all I’ve noticed myself doing. Doubtless, if I focus on all that, rather than the boo boos I’ve kissed, hearts I’ve reassured, lullabies I’ve sung, hugs given, or love imparted I will be downtrodden.
More than ill equipped I am to raise three children and be a good wife, but it is the task I’ve been given. I want to find pleasure in all things so that I don’t come to die and find that all my epitaph says is “She tried to keep her house clean.” I owe more grace and life to myself and to my family than that. In this new day, in this season, it is my one responsibility to breathe love, grace, and life into my husband and children. All else is secondary. My house may always look lived in, but I will fill my days with loving irrationally.