Last weekend when I was going crazy with your sad cold and Dad’s absence and drowning my sorrows in chocolate cake I read this,
When children have difficulty mastering a concept forced upon them by loving parents, they may make the decision, “I’m not good enough.” (Positive Discipline, Jane Nelsen Ed. D.)
I painted a chickadee this afternoon while Dad played photo identification games with you (THAT is Aunt Abby, THAT is Aunti Jessi). Planning this painting for weeks, now it was time for the piece de la resistance, the chubby, black-capped bird. I knew it was going to make a lovely Christmas card.
But I bungled it, the chickadee turned out wrong. I felt annoyed at everyone and wanted to curse . . . to have worked for that many hours on a Christmas card gone sour.
I heard it, then, the not good enough lie. And I thought about the lies I must have believed too early.
I tried to shrug it off as we drove to the C’s house for dinner.
You settled into the frozen car as it slowly thawed and I began to sing through “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “O Come All Ye Faithful”, songs I wanted you to think about at least once a year, songs that make my heart hurt with the piercing silent start of Jesus’ short life. A king so quietly come into such a dirty mess.
By the time we were in town I was leaning into the words of “O Holy Night”
soul felt worth
a thrill of hope
the weary world rejoices
a new . . . morn
With the end of 2011, I want this not good enough to end, too. I want a new morn.
I want you to remember a mother who knew she was good enough.
Who built fires in sub zero temperature and strapped on a firearm to protect you in the evenings.
Who cried about the pain she caused others and let those tears stream her to ask forgiveness and hugs.
Who painted birds with small heads and then put them up to look on for days after.
that all new things start with an awkward bump and a stumble
like that chickadee’s head
and Mary’s baby bump
and redemption of this whole weary world.
originally appeared at SecondYearMom.