My goal seemed so simple: take a photo of the kids in their Easter outfits.

The result was worthy of a timeout. For me.

Easter Sunday was wonderful. An easy morning with Easter basket joy, terrific Mass, blissful drive to and from lake country (the kids happily played with each other from their respective car seats and then drifted off for naps), and awesome dinner and festivities with family. I took photos of the kids independently throughout the day, but didn’t get “the shot” of them together in their Easter outfits.

No worries. I could recreate that moment on Monday evening.

Peter’s khaki pants leg had a smear of synthetic cheese from the chips he happily munched on the route home and Charlotte’s white tights revealed wear from a day of crawling, but with a little creative positioning on my part, no one would be the wiser.

Dinner, Dancing with the Stars/Scooby Doo, and a bit of play later, it was time to capture my children in their Easter adorableness.

Both kids eased into their day-old clothes without struggle (I bribed Charlotte with my phone and caught Peter while he was glued to Scooby Doo).

Casey and I gathered the kids and headed to the entryway for a nice shot. Peter surprised me with knowing exactly how he’d like to pose. Against the newel post, hand on hip, knee bent with his foot on the upper step. Going with it, I set Charlotte down on the stair next to him.

My hands weren’t even off her ribcage when she turned to bolt up the stairs (her favorite pastime outside of digging in dirt and eating stuff found on the floor). Grab. Reposition. Grab. Reposition. Grab.

Okay, this clearly wasn’t going to work.

We headed up to Peter’s room, thinking that if the allure of the stairs was gone we fared better at getting the shot.

Wrong again.

This time Peter was the wiggler.

Now my patience was wearing out. I heard my voice getting louder and the tone was uncalled for (is that something that only Moms say? Am I the first to say it about myself?). Casey was the wrangler as I took a couple of shots to keep this fun (not at all) experience immortalized (my parents used to do that with our Christmas shots and they are our favorite ones, though I think my Mom’s eye still twitches a bit when she looks at them).

Try #3. Back to the stairs.

Why I thought this would work now is beyond me.

Set Charlotte down. Grab. Reposition. Repeat.

Plead with Peter to sit next to his sister. Stop kicking his legs on the wall. Just sit up. Stop crying. Repeat.

And then I snapped.

My tone was now completely uncalled for (very serious Momism). Casey alternated between trying to get the kids to cooperate and looking at me like I was an alien.

Each phrase (threat?) that tumbled from my mouth was worse than the one before. At some point I think I was just trying to get a reaction out of my dear husband, the man who calmly told me after 9-11 that I should not join the throng of cars at the gas pumps due to a “simple, economic fact.”

He didn’t react (negatively, anyway) and I just kept going. And then I finally just gave up with the photo idea, muttering something about bringing them into the studio this weekend to get the stupid picture.

I felt like such a failure, but the huge chip on my shoulder made sure that I kept up my tirade through the next hour.

Later, as I laid in bed with Charlotte, the chip weighing down on me, remorse crept in.

I felt horrid.

Casey and Peter came in to say good night to us, and I sucked it up and apologized to Peter for being naughty.

“I’m sorry too, Mommy,” came out of my precious three year old.

“No, Peter. You don’t have to be sorry. Mommy is the one who is sorry. I did not act like a good Mommy, and I’m very sorry.”

“Well…I’m sorry that you’re sorry, Mommy.”

What a humbling moment. I felt the roles reversed and that even though I wasn’t sitting in the big blue chair, my timeout was now over.

I then thought about God, and how He must feel when He sees us snap and hurt the ones we love. Why is it so easy to lash out at those closest to us? I care so much about what other people think about me, but why could I care less what my family thinks of me during my meltdown? The guilt afterwards is enough for me to want to crawl into a hole, but often times my pride wins out and I act like the wounded one.

I guess that is what the sacrament of reconciliation is for…healing when we need it most. Healing almost in spite of ourselves, and saving us from the guilt and remorse of failure. If only we can remove the chip and admit our transgressions, the healing power from God is right there. Every time.

It seems like such a no brainer. Reconciliation is a gift extended to me, and yet I turn it away. I don’t do that with any other gift (especially ones that come in little boxes with metal clasps), so why this one? That chip. My pride. I have a knack for letting it get the best of me. If I would just get over myself, I wouldn’t have to feel this way.

I didn’t accomplish my goal, but am giving myself an extension (and hoping the kids don’t have some sort of freak growth spurt, thus outgrowing their just purchased clothes), as well as adding another goal to the list. First I’ll bring in a pro to take that sought-after Easter photo, and then I’ll check my pride at the door and put myself in the hands of the Ultimate Pro for a very redeeming timeout.

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