Moms get added grace. Our daily normal is an odd mixture of cheerleader, peace-keeper, motivator, intervener, mess-overlooker, encourager, cleaner-upper, tear-wiper, hand-holder, runner-afterer, hug-giver, and builder-upperer. I’ll give an example. My oldest turned six last month. One of the adventures we promised him was that he and Daddy would go zip-lining at Tree to Tree Adventures in Tallahassee. Bravery is often hard to come by for a little guy, so I spent days encouraging him. We played out different scenarios and I built that confidence up.
Fast forward. Daddy is zip-lining on the adult course. The little one, who will be two this week, makes a massively stinky diaper present. My oldest wants to try to go to the bathroom before he goes zip-lining and is trying to manage on one of those super tall toilets. We are in the big stall that has a changing table and little man makes the process almost impossible by kicking where feet ought not kick while stinky diaper issues are being cleaned up. Big kid is moaning, groaning and fussing about his hands hurting as he is trying to do his thing and hold himself up. I get little man changed and set him down. He finds every disgusting surface to touch while I am encouraging the older one (you mamas know). Older one is crying because nerves apparently got his system wacky. Wants me to hold his hand. Turn my back for a half second and little one is sliding under the stall on his back trying to escape. All I see are germs. I scurry over and drag him back under. He sneaks over and tries to climb into brother’s lap, but I pull him away. Older child is frantic at this point and wants me to reschedule and take him home. Younger child finds random toilet paper pieces and shoves them into spinny trashcan lid as far as his arms can reach. Again-so many germs. I shoo him away and try to encourage the older one, again. Little one finds soap dispenser and drips soap all over the floor. I chase him back and he sits, sprawled out on the floor. So gross. My insides are cringing at the germs. He slides his legs back and forth like a snow angel and laughs hysterically. He gets up wants to love all over me with his public potty, germ infested self. Eww! The older one needs my encouragement again so I direct focus there. Little one suddenly appears with a plunger from who the heck knows where and begins swinging it like he is a long lost knight of the round potty or something! While all of this is going down, I begin wondering what kind of crowd we have attracted outside and try to push the thoughts away and focus on moving this moment along. Finally we have success and I manage to get little guy to drop the plunger and stop touching everything he can reach. We wash hands and every other exposed surface of the skin!
And just like that, life goes back to normal.
They go to the playground, run around like nothing ever happened while mommy finds a bench and talks herself down off of the edge and reminds herself that it’s just a part of the job. Oldest child feels better and is ready for ropes course and zip-line. Brave does not even begin to describe how he handled that course! He was so confident and never wavered. All of that pep-talking was worth it!When he got to the end, the guide asked if he wanted to go again and he did! My overly cautious child owned it!
In that moment, I didn’t care that my children wreaked havoc on my nerves. I didn’t care that my little one was covered in germs that I probably couldn’t even pronounce. All that mattered was that we got to cheer on my oldest as he conquered this new adventure. Little man got to see all of the “Beeeeg Dinnnnoooos” (big dinos) and practice saying it all day long; running until he literally stopped moving. We had a great day as a family doing something we don’t often get to do. And God absolutely gave me the grace that I needed for each step of the way.
God does that. He gives us mamas added grace because we never know what the next moment may hold. These babies are important and they need us to be on our A-game. Even when the germs gross us out and the moments seem to never end. He always gives us just enough grace to behold the biggest blessings of our lives.