We took a walk to the park today with the kids. They both rode their bikes, and though this meant it would be a slow crawl, we welcomed it. Finally at the park, Ty rode his bike down the hill, then asked to go back up and do it again. Nothing unusual…he typically goes up and down the steep hill a few times. He went up and shouted: “Are you ready? Here I come!”
We looked excitedly as he came down. Tramond, standing a few steps ahead of me on the side of the pathway, and T on his bike next to me.
Ty rode down the hill and said “Watch out!”, avoiding T on his tricycle and crashing right into me. The collision knocked him off his bike and onto the grass. My glasses flew off too.
Thank God for his helmet. He was more shocked than hurt. He cried and said he was both scared and hurt. We hugged, talked, and made sure he didn’t hurt himself as he landed. He was OK thankfully; no bruises or cuts. Nothing other than a sore knee and bruised feelings. Since he no longer wanted to ride, we picked up the bike and headed back in the direction of the house.
I played it off, but his tire hit my knee pretty hard, and his helmet bumped my forehead. “Look at my tire tracks” I said, playing it cool and trying to comfort him as we walked home, “They look worse than they are. My leg looks like the pavement” I said. I got a shy smile out of him, but he wasn’t ready to laugh about it just yet. We live less than a mile away from the park, and before we were home, we made a deal that we can shrink his summer math skills for tomorrow and he could have a piece of candy. Our deal was the motivation he needed to get back on his bike and ride it home.
It was good to see him back on his bike pedaling as though nothing happened.
I, on the other end, took a little longer to get back to my normal pace. I wasn’t so hurt by the collision, but rather by my lack of foresight. I didn’t realize that I had not given enough room for him to ride down the hill without colliding into one of us, or hurting himself. I completely missed it.
And there, lost in my thought, I was missing it again. I had to hit the brakes (no pun intended). I stopped my course down self-pity and guilt, and it was right on time.
Motherhood is a terrific journey that teaches us so much about our children, ourselves and our God. Sometimes it is exhilarating, sometimes it is purely exhausting. Yet at other times, it becomes a standard we can never meet, and we need the grace of God just to make it through an incident, a mistake, or just to bedtime.
I have made many mistakes since becoming a mom, and wrestled with many fears, only to find that I cannot prevent things from happening to my children. And whenever I turn on the guilt for not preventing every hurt, I simply walk into the sinfulness that overtakes moments of my motherhood to render me captive.
Truth is, children fall. Children get hurt sometimes. And today my experience was that they sometimes fall right into your arms, or your face. That too is OK.
I know this isn’t the last time I will watch one of my boys fall. I know it isn’t the only time I will feel as though better judgment by half a centimeter on my part could have prevented it. I also know that there is grace for them and for me. Grace runs deep and forgiveness heals. Grace picks our children up when they hit the ground. It lifts them up and says “it will be alright!” It lifts our spirit when we feel as though we have failed in our role as mothers, and reassures us that “it will be just fine!”
God’s grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in our weakness. Other than battling guilt, the issue I wrestle with in my motherhood when I fail to accept my weakness is that I elevate myself to where I can go on without the grace of God. It is impossible to live any facet of my Christian life without God’s amazing grace. I was not created to be self-sufficient, and motherhood does not escape this limitation.
So, today I embraced my weakness. I accepted my short-sighted mistake and apologized to Ty when we got home. I apologized and told him I miscalculated and made a mistake on where to stand. He graciously accepted my apology and forgave me.
It was sweet to receive forgiveness. A sweetness I cannot know if I never fail.
Motherhood isn’t a call to perfection, but a part of my journey of sanctification where I need grace; grace from my husband, my kids, and most importantly my God. For every mistake, His grace is sufficient.
If any of this sounded like you, I encourage you to take a ride down the hill and into the arms of grace.