Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Day at the Beach

Very few moms that I know boast of their parenting skills.
Perhaps, it's just a mom thing.  
Few of us ever feel like we have it all together.  
Most nights I think that I'll do better tomorrow.  
Most mornings I add a couple more dollars to their "future counseling" account knowing that I'm surely messing them up forever.         
Maybe because we love them so much, and we just want them to have the best parents possible. 
Maybe we know ourselves, and we aren't quite sure that we are it.

There are several stories in my parenting journey that might rightfully feed my fears that my parenting skills are lacking a bit.    
A couple years ago, I left my 10-year-old in the front seat of the car with my two-year-old asleep in her car seat.   
I left the keys in the ignition...the car running.
A brief thought ran through my head, "This is not smart."
But it was an emergency.
I needed a Diet Coke.    
I ran into the busiest gas station on the face of the earth, where a police officer confronted me with the threat that she could indeed take me to jail that moment for child endangerment.    
I could have died on the spot.  
Child endangerment?  
"Officer, take me to jail for stealing this candy bar right here, or for punching the worker in the face, or for lewd conduct, but please, please, please don't take me to jail for child endangerment!"        
For some reason, I'd rather go to jail for stealing than for being a bad mama.  
The truth is, however, I'm not a serious criminal, but I often feel like a completely incompetent mother, who was wrongly entrusted with the lives of five very precious children.  

Some days, though, God gives me a break from my self-absorbed feelings of parental inadequacy.  
Like today. 
Today was a really good mama day.   
Well, not the whole day.   Really just 15 minutes worth, but I haven't had 15 minutes of good mommying in a really long time, so I'm going to share.  

My little guy climbed up on the seat of the toilet to look intently at a picture of the beach.  
"I want to go to the beach, Mommy."  
"How can we go to the beach now, Mommy?" 
And here's where the good mommy moment began.

So, we stretched out on the floor with our feet pointing toward our blue wall.
We closed our eyes and smelled the ocean.  
Gradually, little waves began nipping at our toes.
I grabbed a nerf bullet from behind me and said, "Look!   I found a snail."  
He grabbed a piece of plastic sausage from the pretend kitchen and said, "Look, I found a sausage in the sand."   Well, okay.
Then the waves began to crash against us and we fell backward.   
A huge wave...a Mom wave grew bigger and bigger until it picked the little guy up and rolled with him across the floor.     When his face ended up shoved into the carpet, we pretended that he had to spit out the sand that had found its way into his mouth.
His eyes lit up with excitement as he was once again tackled by a gigantic wave.  
Then a brother and a sister came to the beach with us.   
We took turns flying kites (or flying little kids like an airplane) through the air.              
They grabbed some pillows and began to boogie board.   
"Look at me ride this wave.Wooooow."
"Watch this wave knock me over.  Ahhhhhh."
"Look at Mommy sunbathing in the sand."  
And I just laid there.  
Flat on my back in the sand with the sound of giggling children pretending to boogie board at our imaginary beach. 
For that moment, I fully enjoyed being a mama.    
The little guy soon became a big wave and tackled me just as I could almost feel the warmth of the  pretend sun on my face.
"Thanks for taking me to the beach today, Mommy."  

Just when I thought I was the worst mom in the world, the Lord gives us a day at the beach.   
Thank.  You.  Jesus.                         


  1. I need a day at the beach like that. I get so caught up in getting things done, OK, really just thinking about all that needs to be done, that I forget how to have moments like that.

    And you're not the only one who has an "incident" like that. A few weeks ago I left my 10 year old in the car with my other 3 kids in the back, car running, so I could run into Walgreens (I probably was buying chocolate). I, too, had the thought "this isn't a good idea" but went in anyway. When I came out a police car was parked two spots over and no car between us. I about died. Thankfully I wasn't confronted, but I jumped in that minivan and took off so fast. My heart was racing! Lesson learned. Now if I could only find a drive-thru with chocolate & a diet coke :)

  2. Forgot to mention, I am a friend of Moya's. She told me about your blog :)

  3. My heart is is our Heavenly Father's :)