His diaper was full – again.
“It’s time to change your dipe, Cohen”, I said in my most pleasant, sing-songy voice, knowing the battle about to ensue.
He looked over with a mischievous grin and started to run away, his chubby legs running faster and faster. But I wasn’t up for the chase today – my body feeling every day of the 36 weeks pregnant it was. My lower back ached, the weight of belly pulling me down into the couch, the exhaustion slowly taking over.
After extracting myself from the couch, catching the little stinker and wrangling him onto the change table I was ready for a nap. But there was still poop to deal with. And as I undid the stink-bomb diaper, he squirmed, and writhed, and wiggled right out of my hands, suddenly on his feet, laughter in his eyes. But the smile that usually melts my heart only heightened my frustration, and as I firmly laid him back on the table, my patience ran out.
More squirming and the contents of a dirty diaper smearing, and I’d had enough.
“STOP IT!” I yelled. Yes, yelled. Not spoke firmly, not whispered fiercely. Yelled.
Tears welled in his blue eyes and he began to cry. I finished what had become a very dirty job, feeling the filth of it all over my soul, guilt rising like stench around me.
And as I gently picked him up, wiping his tears and calming his cries, I looked him in the eyes and said, “I’m so, so sorry sweet boy. Mommy shouldn’t yell.”
I felt tears pricking the back of my eyes, but held them in and buried my face in his soft neck, hugging him tightly. He looked up at me and smiled – all forgiven, all forgotten.
God is growing patience in me. It’s coming slowly and sometimes painfully, but it’s coming. Being a mom grows it like nothing else. And as I’m reminded daily how far I have to go, I’m also blessed by how patient the Lord is with me. He never gives up on me. He never thinks I’m too far gone. He never ceases to clean up the mess I’ve made, even as I’m squirming and writhing out of His loving embrace.
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.” – Psalm 103:8