We celebrated Josh's birthday on Friday. The kids were so excited and had big plans of how they wanted to decorate, the type of cake they wanted to help make, the gifts they wanted to give, etc. They sure love their Dad, and it was touching to see all the thought and preparation they wanted to put into his party.
They set to work on Thursday afternoon making birthday cards for Dad. In typical character, each child approached this task uniquely. Yaks made his signature rainbow, signed his name with a flourish, and was done in minutes. Boo had in her mind exactly how she wanted her card to look, what she wanted to say, and the order it was to be created. After several failed attempts at her birthday card, she fell apart into desperate tears. Sobbing. She felt like time was running out before Dad came home, and she couldn't get her card looking "perfect".
I tried to offer suggestions. We tried switching to pencil so we could erase mistakes. Nothing was working. Finally out of desperation, I dialed Josh's number at work. He answered, and I told him Boo was having a hard time and needed to speak to him. He said he was in a meeting at the moment, but asked that Boo write him an email. So, Boo spoke and I typed exactly what she said.
I kept making mistakes. I made a mistake by writing my name. I wrote my name too big. I wish it was just three letters! I was making a birthday card. I feel sad. I just want to tell you about it when you come home.
Ps we are going to have to make him one tomorrow when he is sleeping!
And then several minutes later, our Dad wrote back:
I’m so sorry! I am so proud of you just for trying to make me a birthday card – that is so sweet. Whether your name was spelled with two letters or 100, it doesn’t matter to me—I just love that you made it. You are my sweet little girl and an absolute jewel. I can’t wait to spend the whole day with you tomorrow. Thank you for thinking of me. Don’t worry, we all make mistakes.
And then Boo smiled. She dried her tears. She sat back down at the kitchen table and happily finished that birthday card to her Dad.
I couldn't help but think how often I am like Boo. Wanting the things in my life to turn out "perfectly". Trying again and again in vain and willing things to go my way. But, life isn't perfect, and neither am I! I'm grateful we have a loving Heavenly Father who loves me for who I am, and where I am right NOW.
Elder Wirthlin said it well:
“We don’t have to be fast; we simply have to be steady and move in the right direction. We have to do the best we can, one step after another. …
“The only thing you need to worry about is striving to be the best you can be. And how do you do that? You keep your eye on the goals that matter most in life, and you move towards them step by step. …“That is easy enough. We don’t have to be perfect today. We don’t have to be better than someone else. All we have to do is to be the very best we can.”