Sometimes I hear a truth and it weighs so heavy on me that I have a hard time breathing.
Simple statements can change my entire outlook, rearrange my priorities. Suddenly I see the world through different lenses and there is just no going back.
Over the past year, my parenting has gone through some radical shifts.
My kids have exited the Baby Days and we are ushering each other into an entirely new era.
Gone are the days of diapers, sippy cups, and cribs. I am now in the business of raising real people with real feelings and emotions. Of course I'm aware that these things have been there all along, but now they are expressed, in the open, and there is no more denying that my actions have a direct effect on them.
I was reading a book, I can't even remember the name of it, but I got to a line that stopped me. It made so much sense and embodied exactly what I want my Mothering Legacy to be.
Give them grace.
Openly, undeservedly, unconditionally, forever.
Not only do I love the way the word sounds and the meaning behind it, it also covers a multitude of errors.
I turned it over in my mind for a few days and let my heart tell me what it was going to mean in my life. For me? It's second chances, calm answers to harsh actions, peace and love and hugs and kisses that never end. It's there when I don't feel like giving it. It's putting myself on the other end of my lecture and changing my tune to what I'd want to hear.
It's love thy child the way I want to be loved.
And if someone criticized me for not doing something right on the first, second, third try, it would crush my feelings. I'd be hesitant to try again. Hardened.
I don't want to be loved with furrowed eyebrows or huffs and puffs and "go find something to do"s.
I want, well, I want grace.
I want it to be ok to try and fail miserably. I want to have a safe spot to call home base. And I want to give that to my kids.
Give them grace has become my new motto.
I wrote it on chalkboards, notecards, day planners, and my heart. I repeated it to myself in every imperfect moment and let it carry me through learning to be graceful. I said it until it was solid, forever there when I close my eyes.
It will be a process. There are times I still lose it and forget to be full of grace.
But the wonderful thing about grace is that it's contagious and my kids are catching it. They are forever graceful and forgiving to a Mother that often does not deserve their tender love. We are working this out together and learning to love each other well.
Milk will be spilled and things will get lost. There will be crabby days and missed naps and voices will be raised.
But next to all that, next to the things that make us so human, will be grace.