Yesterday, our five year old was on the edge all day. There were tears in the morning because her sister didn’t want to include her in an Among Us game with her friends. There were tears after lunch when we went walking/scooting because her legs were tired, there were tears when she didn’t want to eat her dinner. And more tears when no one was paying enough attention to her dancing.
During one tearful episode I picked her up and asked her what was wrong. The muffled reply came from her head buried in my coat: I’m just having a bad day. I understood how she felt. Sometimes, I have one of those days where I just want to go back to bed and wait until I can start again the next morning.
Yesterday there were a few moments like that – moments of misunderstandings, frustrations and tears. Moments where I was reminded again of the severity and fear around the Covid situation. Moments when I felt sad and fed up. But also moments where I was reminded how blessed I am.
In the morning I attended a virtual retreat (part 2) run by our church and it was a deeply humbling and moving to be able to connect with other women and support and pray for each other, including a girl whose mum is currently in hospital with Covid. In the afternoon we started a puzzle (the first one in lockdown!). In the evening we spend a lovely hour and a half on zoom with dear friends, chatting about the normalities of life and sharing our highs and lows. Interspersed among the moments that looked like a bad day, were the moments that also made it a good one.
At the moment, we’re watching a show called Modern Family with our eldest two children. It’s all pretty good fun and mostly trivial, but there are the occasional gems. In a recent episode, two characters, Phil and Claire, are talking to their daughter’s latest boyfriend, Arvin about a huge mistake Arvin has made at work. Arvin is crushed as there was no room for failure when he was growing up. But Phil says something profound:
This is House Dunphy. We fail here.Phil, Modern Family.
I’ve thought about that quote a lot over the past few days. When I’ve felt especially low in the past, I’ve called myself a failure, which is of course not good and when my mind starts to go down that road again, it’s a huge alarm bell. But on the other hand, I do think it’s okay, actually it’s good to fail. Failing doesn’t make me a failure. Failing shows me I’m growing. It reminds me to admit I’m wrong, to ask for help and accept the love of those around me.
This morning we watched videos of ten members of our church get baptised and I cried like a baby. All those people stood up and said, yes I’ve failed. I’ve failed so much, but I believe there’s the chance to start again. For them, choosing to put their trust in Jesus has given them that chance. Those people know this is a journey and they will fail, as we all will, many times over. But the great news is that everyday there’s the opportunity to start again.
So, I think what I’m trying to say is – everyday I have those ‘fail’ moments, but they don’t necessarily add up to a bad day. Fail moments are good and more often than not, there are some pretty good moments too. Today, we had a couple of hours out in the snow with the kids which was pretty damn brilliant.
It’s been a good day. This is House Tomkins. We fail here.
Wishing you a good week.