I Spilled The Beer
As the mother of four girls, life can get dramatic to say the least. My girls appear happy at church, most of our Facebook posts are smiley, happy and full of love. It’s true we are blessed with a generally pleasant family, however, those Facebook posts and happy little church girls lined up down the pew are not a complete representation of who we are. I have ladies tell me, “You’re such a good mom!” or “Your girls are so well behaved!”. I try to tell them that they are just catching us at a good moment! I am constantly failing as a mother. I am so far from that perfect mom and I can prove it…
My oldest, Kathryne is dressed to the hilt for my sister’s wedding. Every strand of her long golden hair has been carefully curled. She is wearing the rose gold earrings given to her by her Auntie. Her brand-new dress has been steamed, extra flowers sown on to pull in the wedding theme. Wedding photographs are being taken. Poses with the bride, poses with the groom, now comes family pictures. Multiple combinations of family are called forward. All the family stands by prepared to be called for their moment in front of the camera. As a family friend is summoned for her photo, I quickly offer to hold her purse, sunglasses and her yeti cup. I often call my 13-year-old, Kathryne, my shadow. She likes to be close by at all times. Today is no different, she is right by my side. I am trying to check off the photo list my sister and I had made weeks before this big day, ensuring no one would be left out or forgotten. As usual, I am trying to do too much at once, then it happens. I forget to hold the cup tight and it tips it right over my arm. I spill it on Kathryne’s beautiful dress, top to bottom! She screams. I jump into action trying to wipe the water off as quickly as possible so it could hopefully dry rapidly. I realize immediately it is not wiping off the way water should. It isn’t transparent. I smell my hand. I smell her dress. Yep, it is beer. I spilled beer all over my precious little angel. She is devastated! I swallow her up in a big hug right away. My comfort turns into anger. Why was it beer? The wedding started at 5:00, there were tons of children around, I feel like it is totally inappropriate. The truth is I am mad at myself for my stupid mistake. Then I take it from bad to worse.
My family can easily see I am quite peeved. A few come to ask what is the matter. I am more than happy to share my disapproval. “You’re not going to believe what was in that cup! It’s beer! I just spilled the beer all down Kathryne, now she stinks like beer!” I turn to Kathryne just as her bottom lip begins to quiver, her eyes fill with some of the biggest tears I’ve ever seen her cry. I look at her with regret for the embarrassment that I just caused this insecure middle schooler. But it’s too late. The damage is done. As I try to hug her she runs away crying. I let her go. I know she needs a minute to herself.
As soon as I feel it has been enough time, I go find my little girl. I sit down with her and apologize for spilling on her and for announcing it to all of our family. I admit that I was wrong, and that I let my temper dictate my actions. I say the very important two words that my daughter needs to hear in that moment, “I’m sorry”. I ask for forgiveness and she readily accepts my apology and offers the sweet relief of forgiveness.
In that moment in front of an audience of family I guarantee I did not look like a stellar mom. I was a fool with a big mouth. My daughter didn’t think I was a great mom. We looked a mess. This is one of my more recent mom fails but there are countless others. It does not show weakness to admit you’re wrong. It does not make you a bad mom to own your mistakes to your children. The key is, when you fail, (not if, but when) quickly admit your mistake, apologize, and ask for forgiveness from your children.