This is the ugly story about pretty.
Along with the sweet memory of her love of pretty Christmas lights, there is a bittersweet memory of her creating a pretty. At least she thought it was, I didn't. Not then. Now, I'd give anything for a redo.
We were broke and shamefully used food stamps. Craig worked 8 hours, followed by night school for 8 hours for his A&P license, plus he commuted 4 hours a day. He crashed asleep for the remainder of his 36 hour day. Loneliness and hard circumstances on top of parenting while broke, sick, tired and pregnant didn't bring out the best in me.
One afternoon, Tess excitedly called me into our little bathroom. She was babbling over and over again, "Pretty, Pretty, Pretty". "Mama! Pretty!"
When I stuck my head around the corner and saw the fluffy, white, toilet paper mountain heaped all over the toilet and floor, I lost my mind. In frustration of the whole roll wasted (maybe .25) and anger at having to pick up this mess, I spanked her. Hard. Long. Too long and too hard.
It wasn't about disciplining in love or training. It was me destroying her joy because I was incapable of feeling any.
I only saw the amazing creativity and remembered the sparkle in her eyes and big innocent smile afterwards, after I battered it, robbing us both.
I have asked her to forgive me. She has forgiven me. I have forgiven myself. The sorrow was the good kind that led to true remorse, which led to profound change.
Grace invited mercy to live in our home where we still have the WELCOME sign out.........
Forgiveness ~ it's pretty.