Perfect is something we don’t have to be

by

Several years ago, I forgot to take my daughter to one of her close friend’s birthday parties…

We’d already bought the gift and I had the party on my calendar, but when the date rolled around, I totally forgot about it.

I didn’t even know I forgot until the next day when my daughter’s friend’s mom called.

I was mortified…

What kind of a mom forgets a birthday party? I thought.

I beat myself up about it for days.

To some of you, the scenario may not seem like a big deal. But to me at the time, it was a punch in the stomach. I hated that I’d messed up like that.

It’s a good thing that, with each year that passes, parenting has a way of softening perfectionist tendencies.

Like the time I forgot my son’s sandwich…

The kids and I had been rushing to get out the door for school and I was throwing their lunches together as fast as I could.

I asked my son what kind of sandwich he wanted and when he said peanut butter and jelly, I could swear I made it and put it in his lunch box.

But the next morning, when we were making lunches again, he turned to me and said…

“Oh yeah, Mom, I forgot to tell you. I ordered hot lunch yesterday because there was no sandwich in my lunchbox.”

I looked at him, surprised, thinking about the morning before, remembering how I’d packed his lunch. “What do you mean?” I asked.

“I ate the pretzels for snack and when I brought my lunchbox to the cafeteria, there was only raisins in it.”

I forgot to make him a sandwich? “Are you sure?”

“I’m sure.” He laughed.

And, instead of feeling like a horrible mom, I laughed too.

In fact, we both started cracking up.

“So what’d you get for hot lunch?”

“Chicken nuggets.”

(He doesn’t like chicken nuggets.)

“How were they?” I cringed.

“Pretty good,” he answered.

Then he put his binder and lunch in his backpack,

smiled at me and said…

“It all worked out fine, Mom.”

And it always does, doesn’t it?

We moms just need to remember that,

and the fact that perfect is something we don’t have to be. :)

*parts of this post previously published in 2011