“Mom! Look! It's the most persect car ever!” (Not a typo, Sam pronounces “perfect” as “persect”, and while we are on the topic does anyone else feel like crying when their babies start to pronounce words RIGHT? I still haven't gotten over my oldest switching from “jum” to “gum” and she's 14. I love little kid speak with all my heart.)
This from my 4 year old Sam as we are driving past our local Starbucks. I look at the drive-thru and see a shiny red sports car at the window, which I assume is the “perfect” car he is referring to. It looks just like a Hot Wheels he has in his collection.
“That red one, Sam? It's pretty cool!”
“No, THAT one! It's dad's!”
A quick glance reveals that yes indeed there is a car just like dad's and it looks nothing like the shiny red sports car. It is exactly like our old tan van that we bought used 12 years ago when my second daughter Lily was born. 140,000 miles of fun have been put on that van and it shows in the dents and rust and coffee stained interior. But to Sam…the most perfect car ever because he thinks it is his dad's.
We often say that Sam has been carved out of a giant chunk of love. He came to us full of big energy and loving emotions and crazy stories of what he did in heaven before God sent him to us. In our family, I think he was that kid who came to teach us a little bit about perspective and what is really important. There are a 1001 ways he, and all our kids, have shown us this. But since I am slow on the uptake with many life lessons, it seems God has wired little Sammy to really drive a few things home for his old mom. Case in point, this…
About a week after the van incident, I awoke one morning to Sam curled up next to me. I am pretty sure I haven't slept through the night in the 4 years this kid has been on the planet. But seeing that little face, and as he is the last of 5, I have a different perspective on how fleeting it all is. Most mornings I am able to suck it up and appreciate that he is still little enough to snuggle. On this morning he greeted me – with my morning breath and giant humidity hair and makeup all under my eyes – with a sweet, “Mommy, you have the most persect face ever.”
BAM! The lesson. Now, in the morning (and let's face it really even on my best day) I am totally no shiny red sports car, but it doesn't matter. To him I have the most PERFECT FACE EVER. Wow…that kind of love is mind blowing and completely humbling. But you guys, this is how our kids see us. We all have the most perfect face ever!! Because we are theirs and that is all they need. Our people love us just the way we are and since Sam has said this I'm starting to see it everywhere.
It is there in the fact my Lily loves when I am not wearing make-up, but instead am wearing my old sunflower pajama bottoms because this means I am not going to leave the house. It is there in the way all 5 of my kids never want us to move or change a thing in our house because it is our home, even with the dirty carpeting and not-Pinterest-perfect kitchen and the giant pile of papers I cannot seem to escape that are always on my desk. It is there in the pick-up line at school as a classmate of Sam's makes a bee-line for their grandparent at the end of the day, picking that one special face out of the crowd because that face is home.
I bet you can see it too, in your kids (or really in any of your people). You are all they need, even if today your version of parenting looks like our rusty old tan van. And all those things we are always thinking we have to change…our hair, our clothes, our kitchen cabinets, our way of parenting these small souls…they are all already good enough, for our kids and for our God. We are loved just as we are…we are already good enough. When in doubt look at yourself through your kids eyes, you will love this as much as I love my Sam colored glasses, and remember that you are someone's most “persect” face ever. And really, who could ask for more?