So I’m finally creating a more personal blog. I generally hate oversharing online. I’m cautious by nature. Why now? I want my kids to read it someday and understand their impact on my life. Also, while writing is a huge part of my daily professional life, it’s not the kind that gives you the freedom offered in this space. I feel like I am supposed to do this now, to shine a light on these inner workings and see where they lead. So here I go.
The title is a working title more than anything and inspired by my five year old son’s actions today. It’s Thursday and my husband flew out very early, so I was taking both kids to school. We’re almost to Alex’s school when he reminds me he was supposed to dress for “career day.” I had forgotten. He was wearing a nice sweater and jeans. We’d planned earlier in the week for him to be an engineer or architect with a button down shirt, slacks, tie, and “blueprint.” Feeling horrible that I’d let him down and not wanting him to go into school without a costume, I turned the car around to head home. He asked if I would be late to work and I said yes but it would be fine. He asked, “What was I going to be again?” I reminded him. He said, “Well, I want to be a spy instead.” Much more fun, and convenient, as I explained to him that as a spy he would need to blend in with his surroundings and look like a student. I turned the car back around to return to school and said he was all set, but suggested he spend time in Kids Zone, the before school program, making a construction paper “watch” that included helpful spy tools like a recording device. As we walked in, I questioned him about the change of mind. Did he get the idea from another student? Why the change? He said it was because he knew he would not have to change clothes and I would not have to miss work. I don’t really think he understood that when he suggested it, but maybe so. Regardless, it brought me to tears that I managed to hold until I got back to the car. This little guy, this big-hearted little man, showed me the grace I needed today. I strive to be a professional mom who is very active in my children’s lives. I successfully negotiated a reduced schedule at my job primarily because I desperately wanted to pick my son up from kindergarten and hear about his day before he forgets, as he tends to do. I wanted time in the evenings to review sight words and count by fives and tens and read and color pictures and take walks and rake leaves and giggle. We are doing all of those things and more! But I forgot something important in his life today. He was fine. He showed me his “watch” as soon as he got in the car at pick-up and said the teacher loaned him a magnifying glass as an additional prop. Completely fine.
Perhaps mom guilt serves some sort of evolutionary purpose but I’m trying not to let it overtake my parental journey. Hold me accountable on that score, please?
As we said bedtime prayers tonight, I thanked Alex for how he handled me forgetting his career day and said it was an example of him showing me grace. I explained that grace was when we showed kindness and love to someone who perhaps did not treat us in the best way or did not deserve it. I explained that God shows us this grace every day because we all make mistakes and yet he forgives us and loves us deeply. I think he may have drifted off to sleep before I finished. Maybe the lesson wasn’t for him anyway.
Welcome to our journey!