“Mom, you sound like a weally loud lion.”
He said it with sadness in his eyes and a shivering bottom lip. I could see the tears beginning to fall and I opened my arms to my sweet, sensitive 3 year old. Uh! I totally suck! Who yells like that? Who loses self-control over something so trivial? Apparently me. Me, the really loud mom who reminds her son of a lion.
I held Max in my arms, tight. I wanted him to feel my love; my sorrow. I wanted to rewind and erase my outburst. My, yet again, failing as the mom he needs me to be, the mom he deserves. I combed my fingers through his hair and told him I was so sorry. I pulled him on to my lap and whispered, “Mama made a mistake, I did something wrong. I yelled and I’m so sorry I hurt you. Will you please forgive me?”
Without a second thought he nodded, “yes” and in the same moment he said, “You’re my very best friend, Mama. I love you!” He kissed me on the cheek and laid his head on my shoulder. Of course, tears welled up in my eyes. This boy, this blessing – I don’t deserve him and his grace and his never-ending love. How does he see through all the ugliness, all the lion-ness, and love me without reserve?
Before I became a mom I had no idea how deep the pain and joy and wonder of motherhood would run. Now, I know. I know it times three. Being a mama is part of my every breath, it’s burrowed deep in my soul. It’s lovely and beautiful, sharp and biting. It’s full of lessons; so many of which I find myself failing at. Failing, but then getting back up, fixing the best I can, carrying on, and promising, always promising, to do better. Not do perfect. But just better. Through the voice and wisdom of my little ones I’m ever so cautiously being reminded. Day in and day out. My words and tone matter – they can bring life, or they can crush a spirit in one fell swoop.
After the initial “lion incident”, a day that will forever be marked in my story of motherhood, Max has reminded me more than once that I’m on the verge of being “a very loud lion”. Who would have guessed a 3 year old could act as my barometer and keep me in check when I need it most? For this boy, I’m ever so thankful. Many days I catch myself thinking that I need him just as much as he needs me. Maybe more. He loves me through my best, my worst, and every in between. I only pray I can do the same for him.
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This post was written in partnership with Lily Jade. Madeline in Brandy c/o Lily Jade.
Gabby Anderson says
You’re story maid me cry it’s so sweet And beautiful #storyofmotherhood.