Mother's Day and imperfection.

Mother's Day pancake breakfast tradition ~ last year // this year

This Mother's Day, in a quiet moment on the couch eating blueberry pancakes served by my oldest daughter, I had a glimpse of her as a big girl, and my heart exploded a little. 

I don't even remember how she went from barely speaking words to us having full conversations about thing like "where do fairies live?", "what makes cars go?"  and "what's it like to live in africa?"

And this year, I feel even more heavily the weight of time passing.  A few weeks ago, on our first morning of homeschool, I announced it was snack time, and Luci Belle dashed out of the playroom into the kitchen ahead of me.  In the 15 seconds it took me to put my pen down and gather the baby from where she was playing on the floor, I heard screaming coming from the kitchen. I ran in there, and she was standing on the floor in front of the counter holding her bloody mouth, and one of her bottom teeth was on the floor. 

Her first lost tooth.  At barely age four.  And not on purpose.

You'd think I'd grown accustomed to these moments, as in less than four years, she's already busted her forehead open twice and knocked the wind out of herself another time while jumping off the coffee table {which we've since gotten rid of until...hmmm...our kids leave for college}.  But no, there's no "growing accustomed" to your child screaming in panic and pain and the realization that she's again been scarred by life in this imperfect world.

I don't know where I got the idea that life should ever be perfect, but unfortunately I carried it into motherhood with me.  My babies came into the world without scars, and I wanted to keep it that way. And although I know it's just appearances and it sounds ridiculous to be upset about a tooth, I'm still human, I'm a mom, and it makes me sad.

I kept my sadness about the tooth falling out between my husband and I and a few close girlfriends.  {"Daredevil!" one friend responded.  Another appeared at our front door with a Dora balloon.  Yet another reminded me, "Perfection is boring."}

I looked on the bright side - the tooth was on the bottom, it wasn't a permanent one, and it came out cleanly without any other damage.   And of course more than anything, my daughter is still whole, still her beautiful, spunky self.  Thank you, Lord.

But I just feel fragile now.  I'm feeling the weight of the fact that there's really only so much I can do to protect my children.  It's such a difficult thing to love them and protect them while also surrendering them to the One who actually loves them more than I ever could.

And as much as I want it to be, life just isn't perfect.

The best part is, she doesn't mind at all.  She thinks it's fun to have a window in her mouth and keeps showing it to people proudly.  She's blissfully unaware of how long it's going to be until the new tooth comes in.

Please, my sweet girl.  Stay this innocent and unaffected by the world as long as you can.

On Mother's Day morning, I looked at her sitting across the couch eating chocolate chip pancakes {her favorite} and uttered a silent prayer,

Please don't let me do anything to break her carefree spirit.  Don't let me crush her with my own faults and weaknesses.  Please rid me of this desire for a perfect life so I don't pass it on to my children.   And thank you, thank you, thank you for protecting my girl once again.

So we approach age 4 with a window in her mouth.  I look through, and I see a picture of the little girl she still is, a glimpse of the big girl she's yet to be.