Scrape…. Spash! Standing at the kitchen sink I am overwhelmed with a sick feeling. Moments earlier, one of my children poured grape juice, and it wasn’t the white kind. Before I can turn around he is up trying to calm my worst white-chair fears. “It’s mostly on the floor. Just a little is on the chair.” Biting my tongue, rag in hand, I steel myself for the damage. The previous declaration of ‘just a little’ isn’t accurate. My beautiful black and white toile chair is being breached by a purple wave that is spreading further every second.
Last August as I stumbled through IKEA , traumatized by screaming children and the last-weekend-before-college-starts crowd, I was elated to spot what I was looking for. I had found the perfect chairs. It was love at first sight! Actually, it was more like love the idea of what it will look like once I paint my table black at first sight. I could feel the bold black and white pattern re-energizing me as my eyes took it in. Success! Or so I thought.
But there was an unforeseen problem with my beloved chairs. I was so enraptured by their beauty, or so numbed to the chaotic atmosphere of IKEA, that I failed to think through the practicality of chairs with a white background. We aren’t a white-chair kind of family. We’re a what holds up best with large black dogs and teens kind of family.
Now one of my chairs is ruined! What can I do? Retreat! That’s all that comes to mind so I make a beeline for my bathroom. Passing Steve, I give him a brief rundown and let him deal with it. My mind is exploding with accusations. How many times has said child been told to keep his cup in front of his elbows? And why must his elbows even be on the table? How could he be so careless with something so, so, well… so purple? He knew better and wasn’t being careful. It will NEVER come out!
Yes, I am saying these things out loud, but thankfully, only God can hear me. Unfortunately, this is an exception, not the rule. Usually I spew my frustration everywhere, and while you can’t see it, emotionally its marks are just as damaging as purple grape juice on white fabric. Even though I can apologize, I’m not sure it ever comes out either.
In my heart I know my sweet child didn’t mean to spill juice on my chair and he can do nothing to get it out. So what made the difference this morning? Thankfully Psalms did. For some reason today I chose to commiserate to God instead of railing at my child. I wish I made this choice more often.
And no, it didn’t come out in the wash. But compared to the emotional well-being of my child, what is a $40 chair cover?