No. Not me! I'm not a mean mommy! Doesn't she know how I slave? Doesn't she know all that I do for her? I sweat and I cry and I pray and I work, all for her! Doesn't she know!?
And then I fold. We both know. I know and she knows. I am a mean mommy. I fail her every day. I failed her the entire car ride from Orlando to Carey. I failed her preparing for the car ride. I pushed her aside all day Friday in the kitchen so I could make lots of "healthy snacks" for the car ride. I'm so noble, I even let her help. But when little hands made annoying mistakes, a shrill mommy voice chided and chastised her. And Saturday. Oh Saturday. A 10+ hour car ride from Orlando to Carey was filled with shhhing and "please be quiet" and "no I won't read you that book right now because I'll get car sick" and "if you had done what I asked you wouldn't have gotten hurt" and "I can't believe you did that!?"
Why? When does the Father ever say that to this little girl? This little girl whose awkward, clumsy paws make mistakes every moment and often fail to obey. This little girl who sins the same sins every day. Does He ever say: "I can't believe you did that." What would I do if He said that to me? If he made me feel that way? I would be devastated. But I use my power to punish her and shame her so that she will obey. So that she will learn her lesson.
So when she said, after an exasperating day in the car with no naps and unkind words voiced in unkind tones, "you're a mean mommy," I knew it was true. And I knew it would take more than a lollipop to make it up to her. Kids know, you know? They know when you're trying to work them. And they know when you're sinning against them. And mine expose me all the time. More than I care to admit. So Saturday was a wake up call. And a broken heart. And some repentance, to both the God of the universe and my two year old. And heart felt prayer. And grace. And a couple of miracles. And changes in even this shell of a heart and this hardened sinner.
And Monday--Monday of all days--Monday, August 30, she hopped on the couch before bed and announced, "I want to sit by mommy. Mommy, you my best friend."