- Teeth brushed?
- Clean clothes?
- Clean clothes that match?
- Clean underwear? (repeat same explanation above)
- Hair brushed?
- Bed made?
Then, I turned my full attention to the task at hand of dressing Baby Girl, which is a little like trying to fill a straw with jello. I don't know why it surprised me after several minutes of intense concentration to look up and find that Naomi had disappeared without my knowledge.
And that the bed was still unmade.
As she made her way back upstairs (how had she gotten so far in such a short period of time?!) I asked her, "Was there something you were supposed to do here before going downstairs?"
Looking around the room, her eyes darted from the bed to me, "Ummm...I don't know."
Right. Knowing she knew full well, I said to her, "What about making your bed?"
Twisting her left foot around almost 360 degrees (is that a sign of lying that I don't know about?) she said, "Oh. Right. I just forgot." She then started on the long, slow journey the next five feet to her bed to finish the job. Two feet away from the bed, she turned back to me, "Mommy," she pursed up her lips and spoke in a low voice, "I did remember. I just didn't want to do it."
"I know." I replied quickly, with one hand on Baby Girl who was making a hasty retreat to the upstairs hallway and the flight of stairs outside the door, "Please go and make your bed now."
And she did.
I've told and re-told this story to the Captain (who is convinced that her strong-will is a good thing and that we simply need to harness her powers for good--not evil), to her grandparents and any one else willing to listen. And a funny thing happens each time I tell it. It becomes less a funny Naomi-anecdote and more an allegory about forgiveness.
This time, her strong will was used for something very good. It reminded me of the importance of God's mercy and forgiveness. When we find ourselves caught in a sticky mess of our own sin, it is never to late to stop, acknowledge what we've done and make a sincere apology with a contrite heart.
Our Father already knows our weaknesses. And He sits upstairs calling to us, just waiting to forgive.