Mistaken Identity

Do you ever just want to roll back the clock, get a do-over, or have a chance to undo a mistake?

Yeah. Me too.

It was Mother’s Day, about 28 years ago. My young daughters had gotten up early that morning to make me my treasured morning coffee. Waking me up, beside themselves with excitement, they led me to the kitchen, poured a cup, and handed it to me, eagerly waiting for me to take that first sip. I did, and then looked into the cup. It was filled with what looked like water with a couple of drops of coffee mixed in. Looking at the coffee pot, it was filled with the same see-through liquid, and before I even knew what I was doing, I……………… wait for it……………….…………………………………. I poured out my cup. Just dumped it down the drain. Along with the entire pot of coffee.

They hadn’t made it strong enough.

As if that was the point.

There are a million memories of things I did right, and a good portion of my identity lies in the knowledge that I was and am a really good mom. But that Mother’s Day morning still rears its head every now and then, whispering that a good mom would never do such a thing, and I begin to identify myself with that mistake all over again.

Just recently I made a pretty big blunder here in our neck of the woods. Albeit an honest one, it had the potential to have serious consequences for others. Thankfully it didn’t, and I’ve offered my most sincere, as in down to my toes, apology. There is nothing more to do but live with it, learn from it, and move forward.

But my goodness it is easy to get stuck in the cycle of re-living our errors. To try to see our way to a different outcome, and when we can’t, we begin to identify with our mistakes rather than identifying what they have to teach us.

I swear, I would give up coffee forever if I could do either of those moments over again.

But since there are no do-overs, I can’t wait to take that first sip of my treasured cup of coffee tomorrow morning, no matter how strong it is. Or isn’t.