This morning was the worst morning ever. No, not because I felt sick, or worried, or exhausted. I was tired, since the baby had been up crying a lot in the night, but I’ve felt worse. Much worse. This morning was the worst morning ever because I acted like it was the worst morning ever. When the boys woke up, I sent them downstairs. They came back up. They were noisy and the baby was actually sleeping, so I hissed at them. They disappointedly went back down. It felt like every thing they did pissed me off, and so I snapped and hissed like a rattlesnake about to kill its innocent prey with its venomous bite. And my prey was innocent.
Now, I’ve had times where I’ve snapped and hissed, and it usually doesn’t last long. I snap out of the funk and apologize. But this time it almost felt like, way deep down, I enjoyed getting a reaction, any reaction. I even yelled at the baby when he accidentally scratched me. Real cool mom, real cool. Way to make a baby cry.
Finally, after hiding in the bathroom and starting to feel somewhat repentant, I gathered the kids on the bed, although I had to bark at them to get them there too. And finally, I hugged my eldest. He had been acting fine all morning, but as soon as I touched him, he broke down in giant, heaving sobs.
“You made me cry, mommy!”
You.made.me.cry.mommy. Words we all love to hear, right?
Then, we gathered our stuff together and when to our women’s Bible study at church. Where I lead a group. Yeah, what a joke. I dropped Cubbie off with the grandmas and kids but Dodger was upset, so I took him with me to where the women were. I got there, and stopped. I couldn’t even look them in the eye. I put down the carseat and ran out of the room, pulling Dodger with me. We found a dark corner of the church basement and he just sat quietly in my lap while I wept.
Eventually he decided to go to his class and I made it back to the women.
During the discussion, which I mercifully didn’t end having to lead, I remembered a book the boys and I had read last night. In it, two pigs are given an invitation to meet God at his place on Elm Street. One pig is perfect – he follows all the rules and has it all together. Things don’t come as easily for the other pig, who is pretty sure he is actually broken.
During their meeting, the first pig (Norman) gets told by God a) that God loves him, but b) that his goodness isn’t the reason he is loved and c) he isn’t as good as he thinks he is. He gets told to stop looking down on those that God loves.
The second pig though, he’s the one that I felt like today.
“I’m glad you could come,” God said, smiling. Sidney tried to respond, but couldn’t make a noise.
“I want to tell you something,” God continued as he came around the desk. Sidney glanced around nervously. Maybe if he apologized-
“First of all,” God began, “I love you.”
Sidney startled – surprised.
“Secondly,” God continued in a quieter voice, “I love you.”
Sidney was gripping his hat a little less tightly now.
“And thirdly…” God paused, very close to Sidney. “I love you.”
The look in God’s eyes warmed Sidney right down to his toes. “That is what I wanted to tell you,” God said as he stepped back toward his desk, still smiling. *
I think we each have a Sidney and a Norman inside of us. I think I tend more towards Norman, since being “good” comes fairly easily to me, although I try pretty hard not to look down on others. But boy do I ever mess up.
And I am SO glad God loves me and forgives me.
God loves me.
God loves me.
He loves me.
*Quote taken from “Sidney and Norman – a tale of two pigs” by Phil Visscher.