This past week we were up north at a cabin on a lake in central Minnesota - just the seven of us, with nothing on our agenda but relaxation and time to spend together. It really was a wonderful week away - we spent a lot of time fishing, swimming, making meals and taking walks among other things.
Ellis, Colin and Iain proudly display their morning catch!
It was during one of our walks that I learned a parenting lesson that I felt all the way down to my toes. We had been walking for a couple of miles and I really had to use the bathroom, so we stopped in to a local resort and Monte and the kids played in the game room while I headed to the lobby in search of a restroom. On my way back out through the lobby I was caught behind a family of three, slowly meandering their way through the hallway toward the exit. Since I didn't want to be rude and rush around them I, too, slowed my pace and drifted through the hallway toward the door. I watched the couple in front of me, listening to their accent that hinted the obvious fact that they were not originally from Minnesota. I watched their little boy who moved back and forth through the hallway, not really paying attention to where he was walking, but instead being distracted by all of his surroundings, as little boys often do.
Then it happened.
I saw the easel sitting nearby that was displaying a large sign promoting the various activities the resort was currently offering. I saw the little boy walking toward the easel, all the while looking the other way. I saw his foot get caught on the easel leg. I saw him trip and I saw the sign begin to shake. The boy's dad very nonchalantly reached out his hand and steadied the sign while the boy's mom reached down to the ground and extended a hand to help him up. A very familiar fire of frustration began to burn inside me, and I expected to immediate hear the boy's mom scold him for not paying attention. What she said left me speechless:
"Oh dear, that must have hurt. Are you okay, sweetie?"
The fire inside of me immediately was quenched as I watched this display of a mother's love. Instead of being frustrated with her son for not paying attention, she was concerned that he may have hurt himself. She was filled with love for him and that love was her only reaction.
How many times has it happened in my life that I have scolded my children for not "being good"? How many times have they been distracted and I have allowed that to frustrate me? Too many.
This is a lesson that has stuck with me and one I am deeply trying to put into action in my own life. I want to be a mom who first loves in all things.
So while this felt like a major Mommy FAIL, I know that it is going to lead to Mommy Victories, too.
I'm grateful for this lesson, grateful for being humbled.