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I meant to only think it, but I said it aloud. It went a little like this, “I wish I would have figured it out sooner, that way there wouldn’t have been a big blow up since it went so long unnoticed.”
Sam said, “It’s not your fault, Mom. We each make our own choices and sometimes people make a poor choice. You can’t stop other people’s choices.”
I bit my bottom lip and did a little thinking before I spoke. I want him to grow up responsible for his own choices. I don’t ever want him to take responsibility for the choice another person makes.
We learn best from watching others. I wanted to argue with him, explain that I’m the parent and parents are supposed to help their kids make good choices. I wanted to explain to him that it’s my responsibility to make sure everyone does the right thing.
It’s a good thing I’m learning to control my tongue. I clamped my mouth shut so nothing could get out.
Hannah said, “I should have stopped it. I suspected it was going on. It’s my fault.”
There are moments when we see everything clearly.
“No!” I said a little too boldly. “It is not any of your fault. The only person responsible is the person who made the choice.”
“That means it’s not your fault either, Mom,” Sam hammered the point home.
“You’re right,” I relented and released myself from the guilt I was trying to claim.
I used to think one day I’d arrive at this point in life when I’d get everything right.
I wouldn’t forget to put things in the mail.
I’d never hurt another person’s feelings.
I’d always respond to email in a timely manner.
I wouldn’t be offended.
I’d stop getting worked up about things.
The house would be clean.
The car would have gas.
The leftovers would make it to the fridge.
This wasn’t the week when I reached the point of getting it all right.
More often than not it felt like I did it all wrong. I’m reminded that this is good.
It is good to be in the middle of a mess. Faith deepens. Relationships strengthen. Love swells. And I am molded into a better version of who I was created to be.
Today, I’m going to celebrate being in the middle of a mess, not knowing how to respond, learning to shake off guilt, and trusting, always trusting in the shield of faith.