Friday, November 20, 2009

Pretty Revisited

This is a public confession even though I don't need to, because I get to live in redemptive time now. The last post was about Tessa and her preoccupation with 'pretty'. It was the pretty story about pretty.

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.


emily said...

I know you'd give anything for a redo. But I remember you telling this story to me a couple of years ago, and I always think of it when similar circumstances happen in our house. You learned the hard way, but you were able to pass down wisdom to this young/inexperienced mom. Thank you...

Kathleen said...

Aahhhh. Sweet Em.

Anonymous said...

our very sweet daughters

another understanding