This is a picture we took earlier this month at the beach. Isn’t he cute? Rocking the hat and patriotic star sunglasses. He’s a little boy having fun with a ribbon on the beach. Never mind that we hauled bags of sand toys for our family to play with. Here’s the back story behind this picture:
Moments before my husband took this sweet photo, we had arrived at the beach. It was time to put on our sunscreen. Mom mistake number one…I failed to put the sunscreen on our family and myself before arriving onto the beach sand. So when we applied our sunscreen the wind was blowing and we had gritty application. YUCK! Our four year old son and I were upset. This was not feeling good…gritty sunscreen may be good for exfoliation, but not for beach fun day. Mom mistake number two: As I put it on his little face apparently I rubbed some sunscreen mixed with sand into his eyes!
“Mom,” he cried, and cried, and cried. “There is sand in my eyes!” He was wailing. The group of friends we were with were trying to find out what was wrong (the fellow moms of course are rushing to rescue)…My responses in my head are in parentheses:
“Is he injured?” (not really)
“Do you need a wet wash cloth?” (nice, but he’s not having it…)
“How about we set up a chair in the shade for him?” (okay, yes, we can do that)
So I had my husband set up a chair under the shade of our umbrella. We pretty much let him cry it out. I was crying inside too. I was not happy with this “fun” beach outing. Mom mistake number three: I had over packed so we had hauled bags of toys, chairs, and coolers to a location far from our parking spot to meet our church friends. I was grumpy because the sand was in my sunscreen too. It wasn’t exactly full sun…it was a cloudy day. Mom mistake number four: Pessimism was pronounced in my head. I was inviting the Enemy to our family fun day at the beach.
However, once I took a moment to breathe and waited…things did get better. I found our son a hat and some sunglasses that could block the sand from entering his eyes again. Once I shifted my perspective, and my son was no longer crying, l became okay with the day at the beach. We talked with our new church small group friends. Our kids played in the sand and surf. We were only there a few hours, but all in all it was a day well spent.
Moral of the story. We moms make mistakes, and sometimes the pictures only tell part of the story. What appears to be a child perfectly matched in red, white, and blue beach attire in actuality is a child who was sprinkled with a lot of sand. We have rough moments. We cry. And, if we put on our rock star sunglasses the world does look a little better!
Help me to be sensitive to the needs of my children today. Slow me down. Guide me to You when plans fail or trials come. Help me to laugh and lean into Your Spirit. We will get sand in our eyes, and when we do…help us to cry through the pain and move on to what is good around us. Amen.
Linking today with this post by Crystal Stine: Behind the Scenes, The Tea Party