Melanie Shankle lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, Perry, and daughter, Caroline. She graduated from Texas A&M in 1994 while possibly on scholastic probation. Melanie began blogging in July 2006 when she started her blog, Big Mama. She’s also a regular contributor to The Pioneer Woman. In her spare time she likes to shop good sales, watch too much television and laugh at things that are sometimes inappropriate. Her first book, Sparkly Green Earrings, was released in February 2013.
I had big plans for today. I’d signed up to try a new exercise class because I realized over the weekend that it will officially be swimsuit season in less than two months and, after I got done with my wailing and gnashing of teeth, decided that exercise is probably a better solution than denial. (Which is a workout all of its own, but that’s another story.)
And then I’d made an appointment for the Genius Bar at my local Apple store because my phone is about to put me in a home if it doesn’t quit dying at the drop of a hat when it shows it still has 54% battery power left. (And NO, dear Geniuses, I do not want to reset it. AGAIN.)
But then I got a call from the school nurse around 9:00 a.m. She informed me that my daughter, Caroline, was in her office with what appeared to be the first stages of a dreaded stomach bug that has been going around. And so, just like that, my day took a turn. Exercise (not so sadly) will have to wait. The iPhone will live to die on me another day or in the next ten minutes. Because my day became about my sweet girl who wasn’t feeling well and needed her mama.
And here’s the truth. While I hate it when she’s sick, the day ended up feeling like a gift.
The last few days have been so busy. Filled with soccer practice and soccer games and getting ready for the school musical and trying to figure out what to cook for dinner. And I’ve been impatient. I’ve snapped. I’ve said, “HURRY UP!” more than I really want to admit. There may have been one really low point when I asked, “What in the world were you thinking?”
Because I get in a rush to get it all done and I drag her with me. I forget how fast these days go by anyway and that the days of soccer practice and school musicals will be gone in a blink of the eye. And a day will come when I’ll wish that I was waiting on someone to tie their shoes or make one more twirl in front of the mirror to admire their new skirt.
When I’d sent her off to school earlier in the day, I felt sad to see her go. I knew I’d been too impatient and too quick to jump on every little thing. I was filled with regret as I watched her sweet little ponytail sway back and forth as she followed her daddy out to the car.
So in many ways the call from the nurse was like a do over. We cuddled on the couch under a blanket, we watched movies and we played a few rounds of Candyland. I scratched her back and put a cold cloth on her head and it was like I could feel the stress of the last week just melting off of both of us.
We needed a day. I needed a second chance.
And sometimes that’s what motherhood looks like. Second chances. And third chances. And fourth chances.
Because while all of us want to do everything right and be the mom who is never late to carpool pickup or would never grab a bag of Doritos out of our child’s hand because they keep crunching them so loudly, we’re only human. We’re going to make mistakes and we have to give ourselves grace.
I feel like we’re a generation of women who decided we could do it better than the generation that came before us. Or maybe that’s just me because my mom and I have always had a difficult relationship. We’re going to make our kids wear helmets and call home every five minutes and eat all organic foods and not allow them out of our sight until they’re twenty-five.
But the reality is that our moms, by and large, did the best they could. And, in turn, we’re doing the best we can.
Sometimes we need to find the laughter and the joy and the grace that God intended to be a part of motherhood. How else can you explain the fact that he doesn’t send us our kids already potty-trained?
And that’s why I wrote Sparkly Green Earrings. Yes, it’s a love letter to my daughter. But it’s also a love letter to my fellow moms who are out there doing the best we can. It’s a reminder that we need to find the laughter as we raise our littles.
The laughter on the days we feel like crying and the laughter when our child tells us we have a mustache.
Because it’s all an extravagant gift from God. It’s our own personal ministry right under our roofs.
Even on the days we need a second chance.
*I am so excited to be giving away TWO copies of Sparkly Green Earrings in my previous post from Monday.
For a chance to win a copy, please click on over here and leave a comment.
You can purchase a copy here.
To find out more you can visit my book page here.
And for the book trailer, please click here, or watch below.
By: Melanie, Big MamaLeave a Comment