Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Myself When I Am Real: An Everyday Mess

People often say that one’s true character is most evident when no one is watching. We moved Sophie to her first big girl bed last week, and everything seemed to be going well. Wednesday morning I rolled out of bed a little later than planned. At 8:30 I still hadn’t heard Sophie, and so I got out of bed and went to her room to check on her. The sight which greeted me upon walking into her room cannot be adequately described in words. Sophie had taken a full bottle of powder, diaper rash cream, Vicks vapor rub and Vaseline and used her new sheets, bedspread and body as her canvas. Everything, including her, was covered in a layer of gook topped with a layer of powder. 


If I wouldn’t have been so angry, I would have taken a picture. I have never been so angry with my child--I didn’t know it was possible for me to be so angry at my child! (Oh how I look forward to the teenage years!) 

People disappoint us, even people we love the most. And I am quite sure she never meant to disappoint me. The entire rest of the day she asked me, “Mommy, are you happy?” The truth is that the person I am when no one is watching is just as messy as a diaper cream-powder-covered 3-year-old. 

That night, as I tucked Sophie in bed, I sang her a song which I sing her most every day: “I love you today; I love you tomorrow. I love you as deep as the sea. I love you in joy; I love you in sorrow. You can always come home to me.” (Andrew Peterson) Thank God we are living in grace. Thank God that he never gives up on us. Thank God that everyday messes can be moments in which we learn more about our own mess--and more about how to love and forgive.