Yesterday I did a shameful, dreadful thing. I think it may be high up, if not top, of the list of cardinal motherhood sins, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it since:
I apologised - apologised?! - for my son.
"Don't let him put you off " I told a nearly four-month-pregnant, first time mom-to-be as my 20-month-old threw himself and my mobile phone on the floor, yelling because I had not given in to his demand to play Jika (a song by local band MiCasa) for the fifth time in succession. As I picked up my bag and my son, and headed for the door, I grimaced as I said, through clenched teeth, "as overwhelming as it seems right now, it'll be worth it". I must have sounded a bit like I needed convincing because my comment was met with nervous laughter. And all the while our mutual friend's three-month-old daughter looked on contently while sucking on her bottle.
Now this comes in the same week that I've been reading (coincidentally?) a number of articles and blog-posts on mothering boys. I was finally getting it: boys are really different to girls. I was feeling so encouraged, I mean: I love boys. The most important people in my life are boys. And I always knew I was going to be a mama of (at least one) boy/s. And yet, in a moment of frustration and embarrassment, I became one of those moms: the ones who look at mothers of loud, busy, explorer boys and say "shame".
I got into the car (my son, of course, had completely forgotten about his episode inside, and was now sitting in his car seat like an angel, listing to a story on CD), and began to feel ill. Had I really just apologised for my child, as though he was a mistake, sub-standard, or anything other than miraculously perfect?
So this is for Zac (because I hope one day you take the time to read through all the posts on our life) - and instead of apologising for him, let me publicly apologise to him.
Zac, my beautiful boy, there isn't anything about you that isn't divinely and purposefully put together. You are everything from adventurous to zealous, and you add colour and texture to my otherwise rather boring life canvas.
You are so energetic and fearless, it's both inspiring and humbling. You are more alert and aware of things than I realise, and you regularly surprise me with how smart you are. You're polite and loving, and I'm so proud of the boy that you are.
I'm so sorry for the times when I've gotten tired or frustrated, and blamed it on you. The truth is, motherhood in general has terrified, stretched and challenged me - in the most amazing ways - and I'm still learning to be the mama you need and deserve. I try a little harder every day.
Don't let anyone tell you, or make you feel, that who and what you are isn't good enough. God has designed you for His glory, and I have no doubt as He refines you into His masterpiece He will reveal all these things to you.
In the meantime, we live and learn together... Just know that I wouldn't have you any other way.
I love you endlessly, Mommy x