“‘Mommy,’ she whispered gently into my not-quite-awake ear.
Half-asleep from being up before dawn with a little babe not yet sleeping through the night; I peeked over to tell her, ‘Good morning.’ But, I could immediately tell something had happened.
‘Mommy, I had an accident. I couldn’t make it to the toilet. But, I did it on the kitchen floor, so you don’t have to steam-clean the carpet. I already wiped it up, though, Mommy. You don’t have to clean anything. I just need new pants.’
Her voice was as kind and delicate as ever.
I knew within that moment two things could happen.
I could either get upset because of a serious lack of sleep and my hope of sleeping in, even just a little bit, being ruined. Or, I could look into her precious four-year-old eyes, and tell her it is ‘okay’ and we will get her all fixed up.
As I sat up from my spot on the couch, she immediately took my breath away. A tiny princess. It was a moment-in-time I knew I needed to keep in my heart. She looked so beautiful. So small, yet so grown, all intertwined together, in perfect synchrony.
The decision was easy.
Was I tired? Goodness, yes.
Did I wish I was still asleep? Goodness, yes.
But did she need her mama’s grace? Goodness, yes.
I stood up and told her I’d get her some wipes and pants, but first, I wanted to get a picture of her, because she looked so pretty in her princess nightgown. And I said I was so proud of her for acting like a true princess and figuring out how to solve her own problem, as much as she could, on her own.
I grabbed my phone and walked her into the cloud-covered sunlight, which peeked through the kitchen window. She gave me several of her huge, half-moon-eyed smiles before she looked down at her dress and gasped.
‘But, Mommy. My dress has my accident on it!’
I never even noticed. I was too focused on her relief and happiness for the way I responded to her.
I told her I didn’t care one bit. She looked too cute and did such a big-girl job, I wanted to remember it all before she grew up even more.
We snapped a few more photos before changing her outfit. I told her I would fix them later so you couldn’t see her ‘accident’ on her dress. And at that point, I decided to go ahead and get up and start the day. She promised me some couch-cuddles in a few hours and I told her that was a great deal for both of us.
This morning had every potential to move in the complete opposite direction.
My exhaustion could have easily taken over. My irritation at waking up far-too-early to an accident could have easily barreled through as my front-running emotion. I could have easily gruffed and huffed and puffed at her and the situation.
But goodness, how often do these growing babes offer me grace? For my downfalls. My impatience. My not following through with a promise. My raised voice.
That’s the least they deserve in return. And to be scared to tell me something like that? I never, ever want them to feel that way. Because the amount of messes I make in a given day, and the amount of grace I request? More than I would ever care to admit.
These are the most impressionable years of our children’s lives. They will learn to either trust us and be willing to ask us for help and guidance, or they will develop a fear of asking for help, and try to figure it out on their own.
I want nothing more than for our children to be able to feel secure enough in their relationship with us as parents, to come to us at any point in their lives — with anything they need — and know we will meet them and the situation with both unconditional love and the blessing of grace.”
Read more stories from Simply Complex Mom:
‘I’d stepped out of a 5-minute shower. ‘What are those purple things, mama?’ Her question stopped me in my tracks.’: Mom says ‘you’d never be the mother you are today without each tear in your roadmap’
‘But, I wasted food,’ she sobbed as she knelt down to pick up the mess. I know those tears were more than just spilled Cheerios.’: Mom says to give children grace during quarantine, ‘They’re carrying a heavier load than they can balance’
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