Yesterday, I made a hedgehog that looked more like a little bear. He was a cute little bear, but was not at all what I was trying to make.
Lila didn’t mind that the hedgehog looked like a bear and quickly adopted him and gave him a name. I was pleased that someone would be able to use him, because he wasn’t going to work for the project I actually made him for- a mobile for Nora, like the one below.
I kind of expected that I’d have to make more than one, I’ve never really done embroidery before and I didn’t really have a pattern. I was glad the bear/hedgehog came out as cute as it did and I decided I’d better make something for Claire too. In the interest of fairness.
So, I drew up a quick pattern for a turtle, because Claire loves turtles. And I cut out pieces, and I sewed and hurried and tried to finish it by the time we left last night so that each girl would have a little toy that I made. I wanted it to be fair.
This is as far as I got before we left for dinner with our family in Chesapeake.
This morning, I wanted to finish it but I was very busy readying children for the day, changing poopy diapers, trying desperately to tidy up some, searching for the lost library book, drinking my coffee, folding laundry…This was one of those mornings were messes were being made as quickly as I could clean them, babies were poopy one right after the other, the dog was in the trash, shoes were missing, that darn library book continues to elude me…just complete chaos.
And, as Lila stepped onto the bus, I noticed that her pants were on backwards. Oh well, now I’m the mom who can’t keep up with the library book and whose kid wears her jeggings to school backwards.
But then Lila was off to school and we had a minute to breathe and surely no one else will need to poop and Elmo had transfixed everyone so I could take a minute to sew up this turtle. I finished the front and I showed it to Claire. She said, “Cute.” so I handed it to her for a closer look. And that’s when she started ripping it apart, pulling its arms off, trying to pull its face off.
I was so sad. I had so wanted to make this for her, something she could keep forever, something that I designed just for her. Something I put time, effort and energy into and all she wanted to do was rip it to shreds.
After I calmed down, took about ten deep breaths and counted to 100, I surveyed the damage.
And I had two realizations. One, God gives me beautiful things, special things that He has made just for me. He puts time, effort and energy into the good gifts He gives me. Much of the time, I miss them completely, so bogged down am I in the ‘tyranny of the urgent’. Other times, I wreck the beautiful things He gives me. I don’t nurture them, I rip them to shreds…I don’t see the love and care that went into these things. I am just like Claire.
The other realization was this: I can fix the turtle. I’ll have to redo some parts and I’ll have to make sure the thread is more tightly knotted next time but I can fix the turtle. Claire didn’t mean to hurt my feelings when she destroyed it, she’s just…how she is. She’s not quite two and she’s a little bit wild. I can fix this and she will still have her turtle. And so that got me thinking about times in my life where I’ve messed up and God has come behind me and cleaned up my mess and given me back my Good Gift, but this time better and stronger.
I can fix the turtle and Claire will still have her little gift and it may never mean to her what it means to me…but I still want her to have it.
God wants me to have good things too. Remember? He will not give us stones if we ask for bread.