For my momma. Because she’s a good mom…
It’s raining outside. I hear the flood of water swept by wind slam against my window. I’m trying not to hear whiny little voices mingled with a tired husband’s deep tones from the kitchen. I’m failing.
Sitting on my unmade bed, laptop balanced on my legs, I can only sigh at what I see. A large blue helicopter and a Thomas toddler computer accompany me. A pile of laundry, stacks of paper, and the contents of my purse emptied due to a fight it had with a water bottle today are to my left.
I also have a copy of the latest book I’ve forced AP students to read next to me. I was only three chapters behind my students. I call that a win. I’ve read all afternoon to catch up, ignoring my family.
Stacks of toilet paper rolls line my bathroom counter and my workout clothes have sat on the back of my toilet for a week—unused. I won’t tell you about the soap scum in the tub. I won’t.
Dust lines the dresser and a random cloth grocery bag sits on the floor. Why? I have no idea. A laundry basket with towels sits on a hope chest. I can’t remember when it got there. Stacks of books I want to read, and feel guilty for not reading, rest on my nightstand.
This is all just what I can see from my bed. The rest of the house? Well. I’ll just leave that to your imagination…Or you could just head on over. I might be able to find some coffee. Although, the pot may or may not be clean. Drink at your own risk.
The clutter of my home frays at the edge of my nerves like the drip of a leaky faucet. A nervous twitch could develop before my kids move off to college. The chaos can get to me.
And usually I allow all of these inadequacies, these failures, these shortfalls to define my worth as a mom. But not tonight.
Because a miracle happened just days ago.
I was in the bathroom when my daughter sauntered in with me. Because, as any mom knows, why would I expect to be alone in there?
My in-between-childhood-and-teenager daughter looked at me and quietly whispered these words:
“Momma. You’re a good mom.”
“Wait.” I swallowed my heart. “What did you say?”
“I said, you’re a good mom.”
“Baby. Thank you. Sometimes mommas just need to hear that.” Did I get that right? I didn’t even know what to say. Because how do you respond to something you need to hear every single moment of every single day, yet you never dream of actually hearing it?
She grinned her beautiful grin and then my knock-kneed girl silently walked away.
I tried to catch my breath.
She had been so random—so nonchalant. As if I should have already known. As if her statement would be no surprise. As if I should have understood that truth all along.
She saw through the mess, the chaos. She saw through the inadequacies, the failures. She saw through all the junk and saw me. She saw her mom. And in her eyes, she sees a good momma.
You’re a good momma too.
Because our children can see past our dish-filled kitchen sinks and our unmopped floors. They may get frustrated by mixed up lunches and forgotten parent signatures. But these mistakes are not what our children use to define us.
Our children know.
Perfect houses do not make perfect mommas.
And imperfect lives can make good mommas—beautiful mommas.
We make so many mistakes as mothers. We really do. Some of those mistakes will even scar. We are human. So are our children. But we serve a great God who lavishes us with grace.
Grace is that our children know how to look at our hearts. When we ask for their forgiveness and admit our faults, they understand our vulnerabilities. When we set boundaries and guide with discipline, they feel secure. When we wipe away their tears and hold them in our arms, they know our love.
Our children see so much more of our hearts than we can imagine. They know us by our love. And when we love our children with abandon, they get it. Even after years have gone by and maybe dark times filled with heartache are etched in our wrinkled brows, our children will know if we’ve acted on our love for them.
So I sit tonight with a mess around me, wanting to wrap my arms around you and whisper the words of my daughter in your ears.
Momma. You’re a good mom.
You’re a good mom.
You’re a good mom.