Okay, maybe I don’t hate it. Maybe I just hate how it makes me feel.
I just spent $63.23 on two books that were lost and oodles of late fees. That’s right, $63.23, as in I could have bought a cute top or fed a kid in Africa for two whole months.
I wish I could say that it’s my first time paying such an obscene amount for books that aren’t even mine, but it’s not.
I mean, I try my best. I really do. I think to myself, this time will be different.
I have special spots for books and special bags. I try to limit it to five instead of 12 or 13 books. But it’s the ‘just once’s that get me every time.
“Just once, mom, can I take the book to dad’s house.” Okay just this once. “Mom, can I pack my books for a sleepover at Mimi’s.” No. Absolutely not. The books have to say here, I argue back, insisting that they must stay within the walls of our house. “I promise. This will be different,” they cajole… Okay, just this once.
Just this once. Just this once… I will tell you what ‘just once’ has gotten me- $63 of nothingness.
At this rate I could start my own library.
I get so mad at myself. I hate that it always makes me feel like such a failure. Like no other mom could be so careless or irresponsible. Like no other mom has late fees. Like no other mom…
Oh, dear sisters, why do we beat ourselves up, as if no other mother has ever turned in a book late!
So, this time I chose to take a different path. In line with my new resolution, I decided, I can choose to look at this and beat myself up because I’m horrible with library books. Or I can simply say, “Well done, mama. I think it’s pretty fantastic you still go to the library and get books for your kids even though you know they’re going to be turned in late and you’ll lose one every now and then. I mean, I’m pretty proud of you that given all that you have on your plate, you still find time to swing by the library so your little one can pick out her own books.”
Oh dear sisters, may this be the year that we become friends with ourselves, that we give ourselves grace, that we don’t make everybody else perfect and us falling short. Because the truth is… We all fall short.
We… all… fall… short.
The key is to learn how to love ourselves while we fall.