My to-do list was too long, my sick little Lucy too sick, my body too pregnant, my house too messy, big transitions too transition-y, ETC. (Pour all of your worst parenting moments into that “ETC,” friends.)
And my Charlie. Oh, my Charlie. My mischievous, tenderhearted, 4-year-old Charlie was being way, way, way too FOUR. All the hijinks, all the badness, all the millions of things that drive me crazy…he brought them all out to play.
Y’all. I tried to be patient. I tried to redirect. I had some words with God. (WORDS.) I may have even tried bribing the naughty child. But nothing worked. (And by “nothing,” I do mean NOTHING.)
And so I snapped, I yelled, I turned into scary mommy, and I banished him to his room. Which is where he stayed for a good long time.
Eventually though, I saw his cute little head peek around the banister and, with sadness in his eyes, he said, “How can this day end? I want it to be a happy day.”
Which was his sweet way of saying, “How do we fix this and make it all better?”
And so I opened my arms and squeezed him tight and we started anew. We made our happy day.
Later, it dawned on me that so often, when I’ve behaved badly or am frustrated, I turn my face away from God. I stay hidden in my room and refuse to peek around the banister and say to him, as Charlie said to me, “How can this day end? I want it to be a happy day.”
I guess this is what God means when he tells us to become like little children. Stumble, fall, throw a tantrum (as we do)…but then peek up at him, ask him to make it better, and accept his warm, merciful embrace.
If you had a hard day, sweet friend, turn to God tonight and let him love you. Let him give you your fresh start. Tomorrow morning will surely shine brighter and tomorrow will be a happy day.