Every part of me wants to go out and scream failure from the rooftops. That’s how I feel I did at parenting today. When the words flew out of my mouth I instantly regretted them. And there in front of me at 7am were two testosterone filled boys who were about to either put each other through a wall or give each other a black eye. And then it was quiet. But only for a moment. They weren’t done with each other and they both had plenty of fight left to give. But me, no, I was done with the fight. Beyond done, and in my mind I calculated all the ways I had gone wrong leading up to this, what I could have done, what I will do going forward. I stopped. I apologized to both separately for my words before they left for school. And then my mind again began to spin in so many directions. Screens gone, move rooms, more family time… Oh gosh I could go on for days I am such an over thinker. I stopped again. Everyone was gone. So I got in the car with the pup and headed to the dog park where I got to watch April living her best rescue dog life. Oh how simple it would be, to be a dog. I made her day just by taking her to the dog park. The girl had a smile fixed to her face as she ran with nearly every dog there. Why can’t parenting be that easy?
When I got home, I just needed to vent before I could put the events of my morning behind me, so I used my phone a friend, and I’m so thankful that I have one that always points me to the Lord (I actually have many who do that, I am very blessed). I told her my struggles and my contemplations of how to fix it, what to do better, what comes next… We talked about the difficulty of raising teens and preteens today with technology and in a pandemic. And then we prayed.
As my day went on, I had many realizations about my morning, about my family, about raising boys… This morning, I felt like a failure. But tonight I realize, that if I truly failed, I wouldn’t be trying to learn and grow from my mistakes. I don’t want to stay stuck in that place in that moment with my failure always hanging before me. God forgives my mistakes, my kids forgive my mistakes, so also, can I forgive my mistakes, I can forgive my failure. I can take that failure and not hang it over my head, it is not a Scarlette F embroidered to my chest. Instead it is a lesson learned. A lesson of how I can do next time differently, of how I can do it better. I live in a house with three growing boys. Soon they will all be teenagers (pray for me) and I’m sure this is not the last near fist fight that will go down in that kitchen. But by God’s grace, I will handle the next one differently. So maybe, and this may be a stretch, but maybe, my failure is really a victory, because I saw the person I was in that moment, and it’s not the person I want to be. And so births a plan, for change, for growth, for grace and mercy, for humility, kindness, and gentlenss. So perhaps in that moment of clarity and growth, there was victory in my failure.