By Courtney King Walker from Utah
This morning I realized how perfect my mom is—she’s perfect in her imperfections.
I love how she cries at children’s movies and sappy commercials. I love how she isn’t scared to end up in the middle of a forest because she prefers her inner compass to GPS. I love how she dropped the sewing machine on a mouse instead of setting a trap. I love how she nearly ran over a lady on the street when she couldn’t find the brakes on her beach cruiser. I love that she once gave out raisins on Halloween. I love that she struggles with deeply personal things, and that her heart has been broken, her body has ached, and her feelings hurt.
Despite all the nostalgic, seemingly perfect aspects of my childhood, the moments I loved most and now remember most fondly are my parents at their most imperfect, at their most vulnerable, hilarious, and ridiculous. It is the imperfections in life that make memories memorable, that make us all unique—human. They turn us toward each other and to our Savior who is the only One through whom perfection is possible. I think we forget that.
We aren’t here to make ourselves or our children and spouses perfect. We are here to learn a raw humility, the kind that leads to asking for help from He who is the only one who is perfect. We are supposed to fail and cry and struggle over and over again. Because the more imperfect we feel, the more we crave help and love from a higher source, from One who knows us and what we are going through, who knows what this moment feels like.
What I have learned from looking back at the life of the woman I love most in this world is that I don’t need to be the best at everything. I don’t need to go under the knife to find self-esteem or to fix one more little fixable area I am bound to find if I look closely enough. I don’t need to make homemade costumes and cards (unless that’s what I love to do) to prove I am an attentive mother. I don’t need my house to be spotless, my desserts to be masterpieces, or my garden to be productive to be the perfect wife. I don’t need to have a blog, to be published, or to have money to validate my worth or to bring me happiness.
We all have different strengths, different qualities, and different talents to bring to this life. We are all unique. We are all valuable in our imperfections. We are not made up of accomplishments, talents, and photo-ready moments. We are made of many small successes and many failures. But those failures can be the best moments of all—not because they are perfect, but because they remind us how wonderful imperfection can be.
And I learned that all from my “perfect” mother.
What are your thoughts on motherhood? Share them in the comments.