I was having a really bad morning. You know, one of those days where everything goes wrong.
My granddaughter asked me for something from the refrigerator and when I walked into the kitchen, I just stopped.
I had a moment.
My shiny black fridge had swirls of deep scratches imbedded into it, almost as if someone had taken a fork to the entire surface.
My granddaughter looked from me, and the apparent horror on my face, to the refrigerator. She pulled a tiny magnet off its surface and asked “did this make those scratches grandma?”
Her big brown eyes were full of remorse and sadness.
It immediately brought me back to a similar time when my son was about that age. We were living on a very small salary at the time and I was thrilled when I was able to find a ‘one of a kind’ antique at a price I could actually afford. The dealer apparently did not know what they had. Just a few short days later as my son was innocently playing, the antique got knocked to the floor and shattered. I vividly remember that I did not say a word. I went into my bedroom, shut the door and quietly cried. I didn’t want my son to hear me or think that I loved a stupid antique more than I loved him. It was after all just a “thing” and he didn’t do it on purpose, but my heart was broken. I knew it was an accident, but I also knew I couldn’t afford a piece like this and would probably never find one so cheap again.
I felt so petty that day as I cried, and I felt petty as I stared at that refrigerator. The damage was irrevocable. All I could say to my granddaughter was “yes that magnet made those scratches.”
I went upstairs because I didn’t want to cry in front of her, just like I did all those years before.
As I prayed, a flood of memories washed over me. Memories of all the times I lost it with my kids when they were little. I might have cried quietly the time my son broke my antique, but far more often anger and yelling was usually my response. Drinks that spilled. Muddy footprints. Messy rooms. Stains on clothes. Stains on furniture. Broken dishes. Broken things.
Sadly at the time I felt I had every right to be angry at them, even though the majority of the time they were innocent mistakes.
I was just having a bad day.
Just like today.
As I look back at those moments, I realize how foolish I was for flipping out about things.
Spilled drinks, muddy footprints, stains and messy rooms can all be cleaned up.
Things broken can be replaced.
I have come to realize how quickly time has passed since those moments.
All those things that had broken~
that I was so sure I’d never find again~
they have all been replaced twice over.
They weren’t as important as I thought.
And now, there are no spilled drinks or messy rooms or stains to clean up~
because my house is empty.
My children are grown and gone.
Mama, don’t lose it over the little things.
Satan can use those little things, just like that little magnet on my refrigerator, to make you feel as if everything is ruined.
Tomorrow is a new day.
They are children. There will always be messes, there will always be broken things~
until there’s not.
One day you will look back and realize how silly it was to let those things ruin your day and cause you to lash out at them.
Sometimes I think mamas get so bogged down with the overbearing weight of our day to day chaos that we forget they are only children. They’ve only been on this earth for 2 or 4 or even 8 years. Whatever their age, it’s not much at all to expect perfection from them.
To expect them to never make mistakes.
But we do without even realizing it.
And then one day you are looking at a refrigerator with your granddaughter.
A refrigerator that you know you can’t fix but you tell her that it’s okay, and you hug her tight because you know that one day you will look at that refrigerator and remember.
You will remember that moment and her little hands, and you will miss it.
And you will be forever thankful that God allowed your heart to realize how special that moment was. Moments with your grandchildren.
Time will go by so quickly. The feet that once were little will walk out that door for good.
Don’t wait until your home is empty and your children are grown and gone to realize that the most important things in your home were never really the things at all.
They were those little feet and hands.
The little feet and hands that broke the things.
The little feet and hands that made the messes.
The little feet and hands that will one day be only moments of beautiful memories.