“Tell me a story,” she says. The truth is, I have nothing. I’m storied out. I’m written out. I’m cooked out. And on that day, I was mothered out. But she crawled into my bed as I heard J tucking the boys in. And I saw it in her tilted head that lay content on my pillow, she needed conversation.
“Just tell me a story,” she said again. She’s 12, too old for fables and thick board books. What she really wanted to know is the story of me. She asked of my teenage trysts. She wanted to know it all. Did I talk on the phone late into the night? Did I wear black mascara? Did I like boys at her age? When did I date? Did I ever come home late? It’s a slippery conversation and I worried I’d slide off course by saying too much or too little.
I told her of the time I forged my mother’s signature in middle school. I studied her P in Patsy and I curled it precisely at the top and rounded it off with a twisted y. I end the story by shaking my head, “I shouldn’t have done it.”
And she laughed, “Tell me another one!” Sadly, there’s an arsenal full. There have been many missteps and silly mistakes left littered over the years.
But if I teach her anything, this growing in God young daughter of mine, it’s that we need to be real in our faith. And the reality is that as her mother, I’m far from perfect, then and now. There is a constant clashing battle to ward off envy and discipline, love and forgiveness.
I can’t spend the rest of her childhood pretending that I have all the answers. So instead I tell her there is someone who does. He is all the things we can’t be on our own. And He waits for us to seek Him when we are full of life’s greatest joys and when we’ve been emptied and drained.
And His love and pursuit of us is a story worth hearing over and over again.