Sometimes you just have one of those days. The Worst.
Yesterday, I forgot about gymnastics because I was taking a nap.
Today, driving down a narrow road in the rain, I knocked off someone’s driver’s side mirror and put a minor dent and scratch in our passenger side door.
While I found the owner at their house, I left Danielle in the car parked out front. When I got back from giving the owner my information, Danielle was hysterical--worried that the police got me [because I’ve told her before that I can’t leave her in the car alone while I go into the grocery store because the police will arrest me #doh #backfired].
That last one seems the worst.
When things like this happen, my first reflex is to beat myself up--to think about all the things I could have done differently, all the things I should not have done. I want to replay the events in my mind and cringe at my stupidity. Over and over. I want to call myself names. And apologize profusely. I am really hard on myself and I feel like I deserve the lashings.
But, I am trying not to be that version of Lauren anymore. It doesn’t do me service. I now recognize that I am not Wonder Woman. I am not perfect. I am not omnipotent. I am not infallible.
You know, I probably needed that nap more than the girls needed to go to gymnastics. And an accident is just an accident--and an extremely minor one at that--no one was hurt. And after Danielle climbed into my lap, intertwined our arms, squeezed us closer together, told me she loves me, I knew I didn’t permanently damage my child.
You see, the past is really just a concept--there is nothing I can do to change it. No amount of wondering--why I didn’t remember gymnastics or why my spatial awareness sucks or what if the police took me away--will change the past. I just have to acknowledge it, accept it and be in the present--the present where I’m rested, where I’m safe, where I’m loved.
Doesn't sound like a bad day after all.
Dearest Daughters, we need to be gentle with ourselves. We have to. The world will tell us when gymnastics bills are due, how much it will cost to replace a car mirror, what it takes to be a perfect mother. The world will tell us we’re not pretty enough or smart enough or strong enough. That we don’t deserve attention, time, forgiveness, love.
It’s going to seem like the hardest thing to do--because your brain and sometimes other people won’t let you forget--and it’s going to seem like you don’t deserve it--like you ought to stay in time out a little longer--but, listen: this is when you need it most.
So, be gentle. Breathe deep breaths. Hold yourself close. Whisper kind thoughts. Cloak yourself in warmth and unconditional love. Give yourself some grace. You have to.
Because Mommy said so.
Love you no matter what,