"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." -Linda Wooten

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

There's No Use Crying (or yelling) Over Spilled Milk

*I know it isn't Thursday - but here is a 'throwback' post from October 2012

We woke up this morning to a pretty terrible thunderstorm, in the middle of October - are you kidding me!? I am NOT, nor will I EVER be a fan of storms - and I guess that fear has kind of rolled over into both of my daughters.

Nevaeh sat down at the dining room table for breakfast, 5 minutes later I saw her sitting in the living room, eating her waffle so she "wasn't too close to the windows."

Okay - so this parlayed fear isn't something I am proud of - but I'm working on it.

A few bolts of lightning hit a little too close to home so we shut off the TV and Nevaeh and Lillian spend the remainder of the morning right on my heels, following me through the house, as if they are actually outrunning the storm...then the milk spilled.

Nevaeh was carrying her plate around the house - with her cup of milk on top of the plate. I barely got "please be careful with your milk" out of my mouth, and you guessed it, milk everywhere; all down her school clothes and all over my clean tile. And I snapped!! There she was, a chocolate milk mess - with fear in her eyes as another rumble of thunder sounded.

All she was trying to do was stay close to me to help squander the fear of the storm raging outside our home - when I started raging one inside. 

I saw the defeat in her eyes. I felt terrible. She changed clothes, I cleaned the mess, and we went on about our morning.

We always say our prayers in the car as we're driving to school and daycare - and after prayer this morning, I felt convicted. I stole a little bit of my daughter's joy this morning - all because cleaning up that mess was inconvenient for me. So, I swallowed my pride, looked my 5 year old little big girl in the eyes and said "I'm sorry Nevaeh, I shouldn't have gotten upset with you for spilling the milk. It was an accident and accidents are okay. I'm sorry I yelled at you." And just as any child would, she forgave me and that bright smile reappeared. 

Sometimes I find myself flying through my life - so caught up in the responsibilities of my career and keeping my home in order that I forget how precious my moments are with my two little blessings. Every mistake is a lesson. This morning, over spilled milk, I could have reassured Nevaeh that "It's okay. It's an accident, we can fix this." I could have had some patience and understanding, knowing that she was already a little anxious with the thunder and lightning. But I didn't. I forgot about the importance of the moment and reacted in a terrible way. I wish I could take it back and would have used that moment differently. But all I could do was apologize and try harder next time.

Kids grow up too fast.

One minute it's all nursing and lullabies then the next thing you know it's shuttling from one practice or event to another, homework, bath time, and then...graduation. 

I am reserving to slow down a little bit and enjoy this time with my kids. To play, get outside and run around - to show grace. I just want to soak up their childhood, because all too soon it will be gone and I will be left with a lot of "I wish I would've done this instead". Hopefully, I will learn to appreciate the little moments more - even if it includes spilled milk.

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