I still remember my mom planting snapdragons that spring. I was four and she was adding pansies and snapdragons to the flowerbeds in front of the garage. I was at her side as usual.
“Do you know why these are called Snapdragons April?”
I shook my head as she bent over and plucked a small flower from the plant. She gently held the bloom between her thumb and forefinger and gave it a little squeeze. Much to my delight the little flower’s mouth opened and closed.
“Because it looks like a little dragon’s head and it’s mouth opens and closes”, she said as she smiled and put the flower in the palm of my hand.
We are so quick to remember the harm a careless word or action can cause our children. We worry and fret about the damage we might cause, and the impact it could have on their lives. But there is redemption in the small things. You may be flawed but to them you are magical. You are the keeper of secrets; you open the world up to them one small discovery at a time. You are mom. You sooth the hurts, you take the ordinary and make it memorable. The way a common field clover can make a crown, the names of the flowers growing in the yard, putting the crayons in rainbow order, pouring root beer over the ice cream, reading that picture book again, slicing strawberries and eating them over the sink, chalk on the sidewalk…all those little memories that have the power to tip the scales. Love fills in the gaps.
Make those mistakes, it’s going to happen. Ask for forgiveness. Remember that there are hundreds of ways to say “I love you”. Keep saying it. When it’s all said and done, and by the grace of God, your children will remember a home that was love, a home that was safe. That’s my prayer anyway.