Unshakeable Faith: Peaches and Other Things
My kids have remarkable faith in me. This occurred to me after an incident the other day.
My two year old came to me, wailing, after her brother had offered her an apple for a snack. (I know, sweet generosity sometimes sends me into a puddle of tears, too).
She wanted a peach.
"But we don't have peaches. my Love," I said plainly.
That didn't go over well. No matter how many times or how many ways I explained to the tiny, loud, insistent tyrant that peaches were nowhere to be found in the house, she persisted, believing in her heart of hearts, I think, that I am magically capable of materializing peaches from thin air.
It is not lost on me that I am raising strong future women.
My kids show incredible faith in me in other ways, too.
Like when they just trust I'll get my shit together and get dinner on the table each night. Though sometimes in that case, I've long before thrown in the towel and texted my partner in defeat.
Side note on the dinner thing: My son always always always asks what's for dinner. Always. Without fail. And it usually starts around 3 pm, as he gets off the school bus. What the in sweet heavens is that about, people?! It makes me crazy. And I tell him so. Every damn time. Sometimes, he asks me MORE THAN ONCE. As much as I enjoy nourishing our bodies, and being creative and homemaker-ish in the kitchen, I don't want to think about it at 3 pm. Mostly because I don't fucking know, kid! I don't know what is for dinner because I am scattered and my brain is on a project, and your sister was bossy and demanding, and I haven't had time to poop by myself let alone meal plan, and I spaced out and didn't get groceries and I've been up since 4:45 am and all we have in the house is oatmeal, frozen broccoli, and lentils. Okay?! And yet, here is the faith : he still asks and trusts I won't make like a hellhound on his inquisitive ass.
My kids also trust that I'll greet them with a smile each morning, joyful for another day. This is mostly real and true. Except when they decide to interpret "morning" as 5:15 am. Yes I am already awake, actually. But I only crawled out of my duvet cocoon, into the darkness so that I can be alone in sweet silence. As my friend Mandy says, "Mama's love is like gravity." On these mornings, I still greet them with a smile. Albeit through gritted teeth.
Really though, the most phenomenal way my offspring display faith in me, in all the ways it can be shown, is through forgiveness. I am a notorious perfectionist. Not so much in my expectations of the world. In fact, I'm quite surrendered around the messiness of humanity and life here. But I, for some collection of various reasons assembling the perfect storm, am sickeningly hard on myself.
When I am angry at myself, I become a bit of a downer, I'm afraid. I become joyless and restless and well, unfun.
I wouldn't want to be around me, not by a long shot. I worry about the ways in which I am imprinting the little beings who watch my every move. I become paranoid about what habits I am teaching them, and how I might be poisoning their own future habits of self-forgiveness. It's a feedback loop, this perfectionism.
But my kids don't give up on me. I apologize for my wretched behaviour, and they simply grant me forgiveness with no stipulations. They believe in me enough to wipe the slate clean.
I don't think there is a faith more remarkable than that. It's WAY more magical than materializing peaches from thin air.
(Edited to add: And I shit you not. The moment I hit Publish on this post, my two year old came and asked me for a peach).