Thursday, December 15, 2011

Confessions of a Not-So- Perfect Mom By Emily Nelson, mom of three

We arrived at the beach and started making sandcastles. After letting them bury me neck deep, I pulled out the ice cream maker and made homemade, organic ice cream. I snapped a funny picture. “This one is for the scrapbook!” I exclaimed, and they tackled me with a hug. Such a perfect day. Too bad it never happened.
My real beach day started with screaming at them to get in the car to beat traffic and ended with tossing beach toys onto the sand for the kids while I collapsed in my beach chair, devouring the latest People magazine. I didn’t even bring the camera. 

"He encircled me in a hug, saying,
Mom, you did just fine!"

As a mother of now-grown children, I Iook back and I’m tortured with what I didn’t do with my kids: take them hiking, educate them in museums, have family devotions. And I moan about what I did do: harsh words, wishy-washy discipline and over-involvement in non-family activities.

Yet one day, as I was recounting my lack of mothering skills to my 27-year-old, he encircled me in a hug, saying, “Mom, you did just fine!” That boy never has to buy me another gift for as long as he lives. He gave me the gift of peace that maybe, just maybe, I did okay. 

Dear God, thank you for being the perfect parent and filling in for all my missteps. May I know your love as you encircle me and say, “You are doing just fine!”

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