My sisters got all the good genes.
They’re a trio comprising two brilliant architects and an exceptional Maths teacher. They paint bedroom murals and renovate their own bathrooms. One of them has a gun licence. Another sewed her own wedding dress. True story. So hardcore.
Then there’s my mom. She knitted these. In like, a day.
This prompted my boys to ask, ‘Mom, what kind of granny do you think you’ll be one day?’ (Implication: probably not the knitting kind.) They debated whether I’d be instantaneously imbued with magical knitting skills upon the arrival of my first grandbaby because miracles do happen.
Then of course, there are the other moms at my boys’ school. They’re the everyday-is-a-great-hair-day moms who arrive at their kids’ Market Day with bunting and gazebos to sell cutesy artsy-craftsy goods they made themselves. I arrive at Market Day to sell hotdogs. Because, you should just see me with a knife. I can totally slice open a bread roll.
It gets worse. My eldest came home from school with a note about astronaut dress-up day and I broke out in the cold sweat of horrifying insecurities. Because it’s supposed to be by the kids, for the kids. But really everyone knows it’s by the moms, for the moms. And there’s nothing like a badly tinfoiled bike helmet to expose that you’re rubbish at this gig.
I was reluctant to spend money on an outfit I knew I’d get sadly wrong anyway. So we scrounged at home for anything vaguely astronaut-ish. Basically, we had silver spray paint and some Kreepy Krauly pipes. Not exactly the stuff of NASA but we did our freakin’ best. (The green pants were Cam’s idea entirely.)
And when all was said and sticky-taped, Cam said calmly: ‘Mom, I estimate that I’ll have the most boring – or maybe the second most boring outfit.’ He wasn’t being unkind or ungrateful. It’s just that he’s good at estimating. I was pretty thrilled that he’d estimated there might be a mom who sucked even more than me at astronaut outfits, and that my Cam would nab second-last place.
I’m not telling you this to invoke pity.
I’m telling you because I think it’s a really good thing for our kids to know our limitations. No mom is perfect. Not even the perfect ones. And it’s a really good thing for our kids to learn early on that no human can possibly fill all their gaps, or endow them with identity or security.
We all have our weaknesses and idiosyncrasies and ill-managed strengths. And we all have stuff that makes us awesome image-bearers of our Creator-King. Stuff that makes us our kids want to dip their rusks in our Saturday morning coffee or snuggle for one more chapter or kick the soccer ball back and forth across the lawn until afternoon skies fade to black.
Maybe, we could be the generation of moms who know the great joy of giving our kids the gift of our strengths, trusting God to temper our course when we buckle beneath our failings.
And maybe we could be the generation of moms who teach our kids that people are for loving and leaning on. People are for glitter-glue posters and hilarious Jenga collapsings and emergency hugs.
But only Jesus meets our whole soul needs.
And only Jesus is our hope.
. . .
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