"Your boots are a little bit stupid"
He said it quietly, with no inflection, and I could hear the caution in his voice. It almost sounded like he just wanted to hear himself say it, to see what it might sound like.
It was my fault. Moments earlier, in a fit of frustration I exclaimed "These stupid boots!" as I attempted to shove his almost-too-small winter boots on his feet. The weather didn't demand them- his rubber boots would have sufficed, but it was Easter Sunday and he was wearing his dark blue dress pants. His winter boots, also dark blue, seemed to look better than the black and yellow tractors on his rubber boots.
I regretted it immediately. Stupid is a word we were taught to never say. I often joked as a teenager that the only two words that were forbidden in our house were the F-word and Stupid. The details are fuzzy, but I remember a story my Mom told of how she knew a girl growing up who was called stupid, and so she never wanted that word to be used. My Mom never swore. I don't swear. But apparently I do say the word stupid now, and now my 3 year old says it too.
It was Easter Sunday, and so Chris had left the house earlier than normal to get out to Westlock with plenty of time to greet everyone. I think he may have even been playing in the band that morning, but truthfully it felt like a blur, so I don't remember. I was struggling. It was Easter Sunday, and so I wanted to have a joyful, thankful heart. I wanted to feel as though I was honouring the day that Jesus rose from the grave- the day that all the prophesies and promises came true. It is a day of hope, and celebration. But I was struggling. I had the kids dressed, but I didn't know what to do with my hair, and I had nothing to wear. I'm still in that awkward post baby stage where only some of my pre baby clothes fit, and of course none of them felt "right" for today. I was struggling to feel patient and kind with Elliott. I felt rushed and was worried we would be late, and I wanted to be early because, well... it was Easter Sunday. But instead of being early to church and joyful and thankful, I spent my morning raising my voice to my 3 year old and nearly forgetting to feed my 6 month old before leaving the house. I changed my clothes, put my hair up and took it back down and snapped at Elliott to put that toy back right now because it was too big to take in the van. So, by the time we were putting our jackets and boots on, I was mad at it all. Mad that Chris had left early and I had to do this all myself, and mad that I had no clothes to wear. It was barely 9:30 and I wanted to call it all off and crawl back into bed.
"Your boots are a little bit stupid" he said.
"Pardon me?" I asked, with just a hint of you know you're not supposed to say that in my voice.
"Your boots are just a tiny tiny bit stupid Mommy" he said. Holding his thumb and forefinger together in front of his face like he was squishing a bug; his face scrunched up and his eyes squinting as though he was trying to see the just how tiny the stupid was.
I couldn't help it. I burst out laughing and pulled him into a big hug.
It was Easter Sunday. Maybe things weren't starting out perfectly. They certainly weren't perfect all day (I left the house without a coffee, and had no time to stop for one!) It was messy, and bumpy, and all the adjectives you can think of to describe not-quite-perfect, BUT I don't expect perfection, and neither does Jesus, and I think I just needed that reminder.
Sometimes things are just a tiny tiny bit stupid, and that's ok.