My four year old spilled milk on the floor….for the third time today.
And if you even think about spouting the phrase “Don’t cry over spilled milk”, I swear I will go full southern mama on you! (it’s the only time I say “ya’ll”)
Because, come on, really the only person who deserves the right to cry over spilled milk is the mom of small children (or maybe a milk maid who carried several gallons’ worth up hill…. in three feet of snow… at night…)
And no matter how many times I try to explain to my four year old….and my five year old… and my two year old….and my one year old…that Mama has already cleaned up this mess (and 303,008 others today…) three times before, and she really really REALLY doesn’t want to do it again.
But Murphy’s Law of Children dictates that it will happen again. And probably within the same half hour. With synchronized soiled diapers.
Those are typically the days where you would find me hiding in my bathroom for 3.5 minutes, straining to catch a breath, and battling with my desire for the perfect life.
Because a perfect life doesn’t have spilled milk all over the floor.
A perfect life has bed covers that remain smooth all day long, paint that never chips, dinners that are always a success, books that are always balanced, and adorable robot children that never disobey.
Doesn’t that sound lovely?
Yes! Where do I get that? Just tell me what aisle at Target and I’m there!
Then I remind myself, that if those bed covers were always smooth, then all those afternoons of jumping and bouncing and laughter and giggles would have never happened.
If all my cooking attempts were successes, then those words of comfort from my husband between bites of last minute cheeseburgers to remind me that my worth is not measured by how well I prepare dinner would go unspoken.
And if my children always obeyed, were always neat and clean, always quieted when I asked them…..then I would never really see THEM.
No strength behind the stubbornness. No joy behind the laughter. No moments of seeing a difficult task finally “click” in their heads. No hair brained ideas and hilarious quests. No days of teaching them about forgiveness and the need for a Savior.
No days where I have to ask for their forgiveness, and turn to Christ for the thousandth time in repentance and supplication.
Because heaven knows how many times I too have spilled milk all over the floor, seeping into my frustrated cracks, filling me to the brim with exhausted resentment over my own failures. My own anger. My own stumbled steps that produce shattered plates.
A perfect life would have no room for my own imperfections.
So is that what I truly want? A life without growth, but pristine in its attire?
You and I both know that the answer is No.
When I am honest with myself, delving down deep between breaths as I sit on my bathroom floor, I know that I don’t. Not really.
I may always strive for a perfect looking life, whether it be conscious or not, but am forever grateful for the real life I was given. Because then there is room for me too.
A life of frayed edges.
A life of missing pieces.
A life of messy, happy faces.
A life of stubbed toes, and tear stained snuggles.
A life of forgiveness.