I begrudgingly set my alarm last night for 6am this morning. ‘I have no where to be,’ I thought, as I contemplated sleeping in. But as I opened my eyes this morning, the low hum of my alarm mingling with the outskirts of my dreams, I allowed a moment of gratitude to wash over me. After yesterday, I needed it.
I trudged off to bed last night with actual anger in my heart. Yesterday. It was a disaster to say the very least. Voices raised, doors slammed, tears shed, hearts hurt… and many many words spoken in haste, and without concern or caution.
Mothering is no easy game.
It isn’t just managing to feed them and clothe them and read them a book at bedtime anymore. And sometimes it seems as if I just don’t have the right stuff. The stuff that all the best mothers have. The patience. The compassion. The relentless spirit of concern. The gratefulness for the life in my hands. For the responsibility and privilege of walking in step with God as I raise up a child he gifted me.
And the mistakes I made yesterday, they might be permanent. Like black sharpie on a freshly painted wall, it feels like my words made marks I can’t erase.And it’s in this realization that my heart sinks deepest. I hurt that sweet girl with my tongue and it breaks my heart. No mother should do that. No good mother does that. Right?
As I laid in bed last night allowing the events of the day to play back in my mind, I begged God for sleep. Please let me sleep, Lord, so this day can be over and I can try again tomorrow. I closed my eyes and thought about time, and its worth. I thought about how I had wasted the day. A thought crashed over me – My days are numbered, and I wasted one. A whole day, gone, with not much to show for it except a wake of sadness and blistered feelings.
I considered the things I try not to waste. Water. Milk. Laundry detergent. My goodness! Is this girl, and the time I have with her not exponentially more valuable? Of all the things I could waste, the days with her in this place, learning, growing and being my friend are the last thing I should squander. They are the things of my dreams – the moments I live for. To see her eyes light up when she learns something new. To dance in the kitchen as we cook together. To smell the familiar scent of her hair as I run my fingers through it, her head snuggled up on my shoulder.
To enjoy the company of such a lovely human as she – it is a privilege.
There is remorse in yesterday. And I can’t undo it. It’s its own kind of ink stain left splattered over that time. That day. And I can’t go back there. Time is precious and transient and there are no do-overs. I can’t call a mulligan on the moment when I slammed my daughter’s door. I can’t go back and choose my words more carefully this time.
So here I am, the following day, watching the sun rise over the tree in our yard. I’m watching the clock tick tock away more seconds as my house sits in silence for just a little while longer. And I’m contemplating how I can make today different.
I have no guarantee I won’t want to be mad about something that is said today. I have no assurance things will be easy, or simple, or even good. I have but one thing to rely on today. Myself.
My ability to control my own self will determine my day today. My arms that slam doors, my tongue that cuts, my mind that lies… that tells me I’m justified in my anger – today, I must master them.
How thankful I am for another sunrise that ushers in time to do just that. A new day. A fresh start. A girl who will get out of bed ready to be happy and have some fun (thank God she does not have a begrudging spirit). And surely, that will be what I need most of all – thanksgiving.
Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it… Yet! – L.M. Montgomery