Watching my sweet Nyla perfectly position herself just where she likes, (a couple of feet from the TV, on her back, pillow under her head) is beyond adorable. But right now, more than cute, something looks…strange. With her short little legs bent at the knees, those wonderful feet look to be resting at the base of her hiney, atop a bulky, round, pillow-ish looking object.
What the heck is that!?
I walked a bit closer and quickly realized that her grotesquely droopy, saggy and FULL diaper had become her footrest. Wow…both creative and icky!
The diaper wasn’t REALLY that big of a deal. It was in fact pretty hilarious. I stood her up and had a good belly laugh over the amount of sag. I even took a few pictures because it was just too funny to see her diaper peeking out the bottom of her nearly knee length dress. But then I attempted to make some homemade wheat bread and it turned out to be the WORST homemade bread ever! It was super dark and hard on the outside. It was SO hard that if I’d knocked on it, my whole family would have likely stampeded to the front door expecting someone to be standing there. Plus, the middle was doughy and cavernous. I pulled it from the oven, let it rest a bit, and as the warm sweet smell filled the house I excitedly sliced it open and quickly noticed that I could see my kids across the room through my bread window.
Ohhh, it was such a low. I laughed. I cried (not really), but then I got this feeling that my periodic failures are maybe a beneficial thing. Do I enjoy being flawed?? Ummm…NO. But, as I stared at my “hole”-some loaf of bread (70% air pocket), I had a thought: being confronted with my imperfections is maybe better for maturing my mind and my soul than the enjoyment of constant success. Maybe that's just what flawed people say to make themselves feel better...or maybe these miserable moments keep me clear-headed. If I were able to retrieve a mental stack of picture-perfect performances (meaningless accomplishments), I might deceive myself into thinking that I have no issues because I bake lovely homemade bread and do other random lovely things too. It would sort of be my personal version of that nasty Facebook fallacy; the one where we convince ourselves that all those handpicked, perfect images are accurate representations of authentic life.
It sucked a bit to realize I’d overlooked my daughter’s overfilled diaper. Then I forced a little education on my resentful, resistant homeschooler and topped it all off by baking nasty bread. In the end, it was a pretty rotten day. After all my disappointment in myself settled, I heard God say “don’t allow yourself to hide behind your successes”. Or, in the words of Socrates, "The unexamined life in not worth living". A well prepared meal and my (sometimes) clean house have the capacity to push the weightiness of parenting out of my mind and give me amnesia towards the broken places inside me that require healing. But that looking-glass loaf of bread reminded me that we aren't meant to have hollow, cavernous insides.
Writer and fellow traveler on the road of life.