I was looking outside my kitchen window yesterday and feeling a little down. On Wednesday, the 2nd!, I had already had my official first meltdown of the year. Ugh. It felt like no matter how much I tried or how much I taught, demonstrated, lectured, laughed patiently, or explained “punching isn’t nice” in a variety of tones, my children were just not learning ANYTHING!
The bedrooms were a mess and any mere suggestion at picking up a dirty sock was met with whines of protest. The living room looked like it had been hit by a hurricane only there would be no rescue team to help clean up the disaster because they weren’t “done finishing their game.” Homework?! But they just endured 20 minutes of that torture yesterday! I was starting to feel like a failure as a mother…
And of course all of this was as I ws trying to leave and enjoy my first evening as a Young Women’s leader in our church. I finally got in the car, saying a mental prayer and hoping I could change my mental attitude in the 2 minute drive over…
I must be a terrible mother and teacher because they are not learning anything.
I corrected my thought a little.
I must be a bad teacher because they are not learning very fast.
I corrected it a little more.
I’m teaching them but they are just not learning as fast as I want them to.
But they are only 6 and 5…
And even more.
They are learning little by little and you are doing the best you can. It’s going to be ok.
Fastforward to yesterday. Looking outside my window I could see little footprints in the snow.
Most likely they are from our two kittens that must of been tigers in another life. I had no idea they had bolted and ran in so many places! Our yard is over an acre and I could see these cute little pairs of prints tracked in loops, zig-zagging through and under play-equipment all over the yard.
I started thinking. If I could really see my “emotional footprints” or the “developmental footprints” of my kids, I would be AMAZED at the journey we’ve made so far.
It’s hard to keep track of that progress visually. Like with our kittens, I don’t usually know how much ground those little cats cover. But with the fresh fallen snow to make prints in their path was clear. And as I whispered a little prayer of love to my Heavenly Father it was clear to me that my family and I have come along way too. I felt an overwhelming warmth in my soul, and I knew I could be proud of the efforts I was making as a mother. I fel calmed, grateful and happy, oh so very happy to be at this place in my life.
A few minutes later snowflakes began to fall again, covering any evidence of footprints with a blanket of white. And just as quckly, that swell of love in my heart dwindled down to embers again, still burning but just a memory of what they had been.
Still, I am grateful for that memory and witness that the work I am doing is worth it. And someday, maybe not in this life but definitely in the next, we will see or own “footprints in the snow.”