Sweet toddler of mine, some of the days we share are so darn long.

Some days, we don’t see eye-to-eye.

Some days are built of long, slow hours and filled with exhaustion, lost tempers, and irritated sighs . . . mostly my own.

My patience on these days goes from short to almost non-existent by bedtime, and I’m not proud to say that you usually catch the brunt of my bad mood. 

Yet somehow, without fail, when I pull the blanket up to your chin and kiss you goodnight, you always grin up at me with pure, untainted adoration as you assure me that you really do love me more.

How do you do that, Little One? How do you love me so well and forgive me so easily even when I’m at my worst?

At just three years old, how do you have such a mighty grace to give?

There are times when I roll my eyes as you ask the same question for the 14th time, and I grow annoyed by the never-ending cries of “Mommmmy!” that fill every corner of our home.

I apologize for my mistakes, just to turn around and make them all over again.

I get worked up over the little things, like spilled sippy cups and crumbled Play-Doh scattered across the floor.

I get worn out, touched out, and burnt out—and I don’t do a very good job of hiding it.

I scold you when you don’t deserve it simply because it was me, not you, who woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

Often my patience is too short, my voice too harsh, and I don’t give you the best version of myself.

But despite all of this, you give me grace.

Easily. Freely. Readily. Gladly.

When tears of frustration sting my eyes, you’re the first to wipe them away. When I raise my voice to you, you lovingly reach out your arms to embrace me. When I apologize, you look me earnestly in the eyes and tell me it’s OK.

When I mess up, you give me the chance to redeem myself—every single time, without hesitation.

You don’t hold grudges.

You don’t keep score.

The kind of grace you give is awe-worthy. It’s the kind of un-jaded forgiveness that only a toddler is capable of, and while I don’t often feel like I deserve it, I know I’ll never stop needing it.

So, thank you.

Thank you for accepting my humanness.

Thank you for being slow to judge and quick to forgive.

Thank you for loving me at my most unlovely.

Above all, thank you for teaching me so much about life even though you’re still so very small.

You may not realize it now, Little One, but with every moment you extend your grace to me, you’re helping me to find my own. 

You may also like:

So God Made a Toddler

2-Year-Olds Are Completely Savage

Two-Year-Olds Aren’t Terrible, They’re Just Trying to Understand Life

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Casey Huff

Casey is a teacher turned stay-at-home-mom. She and her husband live in rural Colorado with their two sons and two ornery Labradors. Casey blogs at Etched in Home. Her mission as a writer is to celebrate parenthood and relationships, and shine light on the reality behind it all; the good, the bad, and always the real. When she’s not writing, you can find Casey chasing her Littles around, hiding in the pantry eating chocolate, or doing anything else to avoid dealing with the always-present mountain of laundry that haunts her days. To read more from Casey, give her a follow at: Etched in Home -- Facebook Etched in Home -- Instagram