Lost in the details

Christmas pageant practice: kids sang (mother breathed, "Hallelujah!" under her breath).

Walmart on a Saturday just prior to Christmas: kids walked single file (mom silently rejoiced, "We survived!").

Hanging Christmas lights using dinky plastic hooks: kids played in snow, husband frustrated (wife wondering, "Why did I suggest this?").

We came in covered with snow, bedraggled and tired from the fresh air and a day too full. The toddler began screaming because her socks were on crooked. I lost my temper, and spat out a warning to stop fussing through gritted teeth, the whites of my eyes showing. She banged her little body down on the couch, intimidated and angered. I retreated to my room, the howls of three children echoing behind me.

The black arms of the trees against the winter sky whisper reproach. I approach the Throne tentatively. I hear the toddler stop crying, and come wandering through the house, quietly saying, "I done fussin', Mama". My heart melts. I open the door.

After I beg forgiveness, we lay on the bed, cuddled up, looking at the trees. We talk about the nativity we just put up, about Jesus, dying on the cross to forgive us as Amelia just forgave me. She giggles, then says, "I have buggers, Mama". I try to continue the lesson, buggers notwithstanding...to no avail. Every little lesson I sally forth is met with, "I have buggers, Mama". And I think, this is me! This is what I approach my Father with. He offers forgiveness, and I am more concerned about my buggers! I am the toddler tentatively walking through the halls of heaven, saying, "I done fussin', Papa."

I better grow up soon!