the ugly writers

The Gift of Second Chances

Today I failed. Failed as a mom. Failed miserably.

The Gift of Second Chances

Today I failed. Failed as a mom. Failed miserably.  It involved yelling. And crying. From both my daughter and myself.  I couldn’t do it.  It was too much.  The day became so challenging. I gave up, my heart hurt and I had to walk away.  I think of all the days that I have failed as a mom. There have been many.  It usually involves disobedience, lying, rudeness, sassiness and whole lot kids trying to make mom cry. No. They really aren’t trying to make me cry.  But sometimes it feels like it.

I am a tenderhearted girl. Words matter. And they seem to matter most when they are words delivered from a child to a parent in hopes of hurting them.  After all is said and done, I may have said something like, “Well done. You did it.  I am completely defeated.  Anything else you want to say? Go for it. Get it out of your system.”  That is when I had to walk away.  My broken mom heart on my sleeve.  I had to turn and walk away before verbally wounding the child that just wounded me.

Nope, I am not over it. I feel like this day has merited a couple days of hurt, but only a couple.  I was concerned after my baby girl came to me and apologized and we talked a bit. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to turn the day around. I couldn’t just pick up where we left off.  We had a wonderful morning filled by a dreadful afternoon.  So I fled. We fled. I packed up the kids and bonus child and we fled to the Carver Wildlife Refuge.  The warm Minnesota Fall day was what we all needed. The sun on our faces, the breeze at our backs,  the water rippling as if to welcome us. 

The road was flooded and the gates were closed so we parked and walked into the park reserve.  I could feel my heart rate calming as soon as we came to top of the first hill.  The gravel felt great under our feet. I shouted out an announcement to the kids each time I saw something amazing.  The hollowed out tree, the snake on the side of the path, the stick that looked like a crutch.  They then started to do the same.  They pointed out the beautiful yellow leaves, showed me how to throw the rocks into the water and were amazed that the water got so deep so fast. We all stopped to revel at the sound of the water rushing quickly where the Minnesota River stopped us in our tracks as it covered our chosen path through the woods. We stood there in awe. The leaves, the branches, the downed trees. Even the old relics of days gone by. A huge metal gas can, a broken trap.

This was how we reclaimed the day. How our day was redeemed. We walked away from the mess that happened at our home and dove into all the joys that nature provides.  This over 70 degree fall Minnesota day was balm for my weary soul. It enabled me to want to speak kind words to the child that had hurt me so. The exercise and hills enabled me to place my worries behind me. How thankful I am that I was able to find solace in God’s amazingly beautiful creation today.  The Carver Wildlife Refuge has done this before.  All of God’s Glory in creation is completely on display in that beautiful place.

This day ended so much more peaceful than it had begun. I was able to be thankful to the Creator for His Creation. I was able to admit when I was wrong. I was able to let past hurt and defeat go.  I was able to enjoy being with my kids on this beautiful day. 

Tomorrow I will get another chance. It will probably involve another outing.   It will probably involve a lot of, “Oh Look at that!”  I am going to make an effort to love on my kids. To kiss them.  To hug them. To tell them I love them and that I am so glad that I am their mom.  I am so thankful for the gift of second chances.


Catch more of Kelli J. Gavin with her other entries at The Ugly Writers:

fully me  trying to heal I need a sign i don't mean to brag the ugly writers

Check her own website here.

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Kelli J Gavin

Kelli J Gavin of Carver, Minnesota is a Writer, Editor, Blogger and Professional Organizer. Her work can be found with Clarendon House Publishing, Sweetycat Press, The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, ZPP, Setu, 300 South Media Group, Otherwise Engaged, Flora Fiction, and Southwest Media among others. Kelli’s first two books were released in 2019 (“I Regret Nothing- A Collection of Poetry and Prose” and “My Name is Zach- A Teenage Perspective on Autism”). She has co-authored over 25 anthologies. She is also working on a collection of fiction short stories.

Articles: 82


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  1. They say, life always offers us a second chance. It’s called tomorrow. So don’t give up against adverse circumstances and keep fighting.

  2. The finest example of second chances are oir parents. They never get tired of understanding us, hoping that we’ll get better each and every day. Parent’s love are really unconditional.