Dear sweet toddler is crying crocodile tears, red-faced, somewhere in between anger and sadness. “Why Mommy? Why did you throw it away!?!?” Oh man. I blew it. Amidst the cups and crayons and stale popcorn bits laid a precious treasure, a morning’s worth of play and fun and love; a gift to me from my precious first born. And I, in my hurry and rush and bustle, had thrown it away. Dear me!

I hurried to get the table cleared, dishes done and bills paid. I rushed along prepping dinner, making lunch, nursing dear sweet baby. I bustled about, eyes focused on the laundry piles, dust bunnies, and matchbox cars strewn atop every single surface in the living room. I saw the mess.   That’s all I could see. And because of that, because I chose the wrong focus, I failed to see the gift. I saw the paint smeared on the table and on the wall and on his cheek, but I failed to see that it was a beautiful part of his display of love, a byproduct of his creative handiwork. And now I am digging through the garbage can trying to salvage the painted masterpiece my son intended as a gift to me.

Epic Mommy-fail. I missed it. And I wonder… how often do I miss the gift because I’m focused on the mess?