I feel like life compares well to running a race. You have good days, you have bad days, you have pain, hurt, hills to conquer, speed work, recovery days, days where it really feels great, days where you’re dragging, etc. In life, you have some people that you feel are running with you and others you feel that you’re running against. You see smiling, happy faces while scrolling along on social media. You think to yourself that everyone must have it together, except me. Has it been one of those months where the pace picked up and never let up? Everywhere you turn around there’s a sink of dirty dishes, another load of laundry to fold or clean, floors to be vacuumed, a job to get to, homework to finish, a crying child, a bottom to be wiped, a course to complete, toys to pick up, and just when you think you’re caught up there’s an empty toilet paper roll in the bathroom to be replaced? I feel like this has been the past month, where I just can’t catch up. Tonight, was finally a night where I had to take a step back and remind myself what matters.
So tonight…it happened. I gave into behavior that I KNEW I shouldn’t give in to (on more than one occasion). I let my 20 month old play me like a fiddle. It happened, has happened before, and will probably happen again. What’s frustrating is that I know better than this. I have worked under behavior specialists, have been taught the correct way to deal with specific behaviors, and I GAVE IN. I sat there with a screaming, flailing child that had finally calmed because I gave in. Why did I give in? Because, I was in public. I knew I shouldn’t give in to my child, but we were in a restaurant and I felt all eyes on me. Some of those eyes may never understand, other eyes that completely understand. And, you know what? What matters at the end of the day is not “those” eyes, my self doubt because I know better, the people inconvenienced, the fact that a family dinner out (that our 4 year old wanted so badly) was ruined… but, what matters is the love that still exists beyond the mess.
My 20 month old is a very strong willed child. She is hilarious, bubbly, entertaining, and completely full of personality but is very strong willed. Before she went to bed tonight, I told her that she may be a stinker but I still love her. She then took her little hand, put it to her mouth and blew me a kiss. THIS. THIS RIGHT HERE IS WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO.
The picture above is a photograph taken after my 20 month old had a complete meltdown over something I could not explain to her. As you can see, we are both exhausted. Honestly, I can’t remember at this point what the meltdown was even over. It could have even been over shoes she wanted to wear that were way too small. I picked her up and she laid on me while trying to calm. I just held and squeezed her. I took this picture because it is rare for her to just lay on me for this long. I noticed all the mess in the picture of bright toys, stuff laying around, etc. I wanted so bad to move all the toys so I could get that sweet, perfect, cute picture then realized that’s not what matters. What matters in the picture is the love shared, seeing through the mess. Even after tantrums, screaming, flailing, falling to the ground, I still love this child. You know what’s even crazier? God feels the exact same way about us. Every one of us that exists in this world is a child of God. YOU are a child of God and were made uniquely in His eyes. No matter where we have been, what we have done, He loves US. We are His child created in His eyes and HE LOVES US despite the downfalls. He sees us through the mess.