Seeing ourselves through our child's eyes
As a mom I wear many hats-- short order cook, maid, banker, master lego builder, official finder of all things lost and this week, according to my 6-year old...drum roll please..., official seamstress. Getting out my ancient sewing machine was the absolute last item on my to-do list, but on a recent trip through the fabric section at Walmart she became "enraptured" with the vision for the dress I was to create for her doll (two teachers have labeled this high drama kid a future litigator so I often find myself outmatched and maneuvered in the argument department. Plus I am a sucker for her big vocal words).
A doll dress can't take that long, right? I mean, my mom made them for me; I should do it for my kids, right? I should encourage her creativity, right (Darn you, Pinterest!)? That is, until child number two also got excited about the idea; okay, what's one more? Then, she wanted to match baby and there went my evening, much to the chagrin of my son who has no patience for anything girl and entertained himself by weaponizing the seam ripper and chasing sisters.
By the time Matt returned home, the house was a royal mess and he inherited a hyper four-year-old on serious estrogen overload (I had promised for three hours he could wrestle with Daddy). And, by the way, these Pinterest tutorials should post warnings that parents of small children can't actually do these projects without the rest of your house turning into an absolute war zone, unless you're fortunate enough to have a maid and a babysitter. But no one that can actually afford a maid and a babysitter is probably DIY in the first place.
Anyway, it was a LATE night and I will be playing catch-up for a few days, but it was all worthwhile this morning when I presented Ella with her dress..."Momma, its PERFECT!!!!" And there went my heart with one word I have never heard her utter in her two and a half years.
See, it's been a long summer around here and my parenting has had more losses than wins: my patience has been short; my exhaustion high and my senses on overload. I am a novice seamstress at best, and if you were to turn this dress inside out, you would see many imperfections, many unfinished seams, many threads, too many stitches.....but if you turn it right side out and show it to Ella, it is perfect. It is just what her girly heart desired, just what she dreamed of. Just like I am her Momma. I am who she wants in the middle of the night; I am what makes her eyes light up when I walk in the room; I am the arms and lips she craves.
My imperfections, my unfinished seams, she does not notice them. She only sees me right side out. It is such a clear reflection of grace. How encouraging to remember in the midst of berating ourselves as parents how we appear to our children. So, if you can see the beauty in this simple dress, let it remind you what all those imperfect seams are creating and like me, be encouraged.