When asked about hidden talents, I have one thing that consistently comes to mind. One thing I can do without even trying. I guess you could say that it comes naturally. For approximately thirty years, I have been cultivating this skill into what it is today. And, honestly, I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. When you are born with such a skill, you can’t help but utilize it.
I am impressively clumsy.
Do you need three plates, two bowls, one saucer, and the sugar bowl of your first set of dishes to be broken?
I’m your girl.
Want to see what happens when you drop a watermelon in the middle of the grocery store?
Got it! I can also tell you about eggs and other assorted groceries.
Do you ever wonder if Corelle® dishes really are as durable as they are advertised?
I’ve managed to shatter them into hundreds of tiny pieces.
Need some comedic relief as someone falls face-first into a half-wall at Cheddar’s?
I’ve got you covered.
After so many years, I have learned to embrace my clumsiness. It took me a long time to turn my thoughts away from “I’m such a disaster.” Through our marriage, my husband’s feelings have shifted from slight irritation to genuine amusement. He will laugh, shake his head, and mention something about loving me. But I have come to realize something about this “talent” I have had for so many years.
It is making me a better mom.
Each time I break a plate (or cup or bowl or whatever), I am reminded to pay attention. Yes, I should probably pay closer attention to the task at hand. Piles of broken glass are never a good idea. However, I want to work on paying attention to the little things. I want to notice the way my little girl’s eyes light up when she sees a dog. I want to remember how her hair curls right after bath time. I want to pay attention to the funny games she plays with her daddy and know that they will only work with him. I want to limit the distractions and focus on the joy of being her mom.
When I drop something in the store, I show my little girl that I am only human. She is able to see that it is okay to make mistakes. She does not have to be perfect. She is going to mess up. She is going to make messes and break things. But she will also learn. She will learn that mistakes will happen. It is how we react to these mistakes that is important.
Yet another mess to clean up allows me to exercise patience. It teaches me to slow down and remember that my timeline is not the only one that exists. I have one feisty little girl. I can only imagine the patience I will need in the future. I will need patience for those rushed Sunday mornings where the only shoes she will agree to wear are her Minnie Mouse Crocs. I want to have the patience for those nights that one book is not enough and more cuddles trump how tired I am.
Mistakes happen. But so does grace…
Little did I know that the messes and mistakes of the past thirty years were preparing me to be a parent. I’ve had to learn to give myself grace in the messy times. It wasn’t always easy. But now I can show that grace to my little girl and teach her to show it to others. Most importantly, I can teach her to show it to herself.