Error 404: Perfection Not Found

We arrived at the local church to a full parking lot. Mike and Riley and I were anxious to get into the church and see Hannah sing her solo with her chorale singing group. It was a few weeks before Christmas, and our schedules were as full as an overflowing stocking. We had just finished caroling with some friends and we were rushing to a church to see Hannah sing.

We walked in and were greeted by three wise men who promptly seated us in the back of the sanctuary. As we settled in and looked around, relieved we had made it in time, Mike’s cell phone buzzed with a text from Hannah asking, “Are you guys here? I am about to go on stage.” Suddenly, we looked around and realized that there were no other parents from Dalton, no other families we recognized, and no Hannah about to go on stage.

We were at the wrong church!

Well, we quietly left, sneaking by the wise men trying not to feel too guilty about leaving in the middle of their program. What are the chances of two churches with the same name, in two different cities having Christmas programs on the same night at the same time? I am not sure. What are the chances of me goofing up and showing up at the wrong church? Well, that is easier: 100% probability!

Yes, call me the queen of motherhood failures. I know I take the crown.

Have you ever see the error message on your computer “Error 404: Page not Found,” well, it seems to me that my life flashes the sign Error 404: Perfection Not Found. And it is just as frustrating.

Oh, I could list so many errors it might make your head spin. When Sydney was in elementary school, I forgot to pick her up one day, and had to take a call from the office asking when I was coming. Error 404.

When Riley was a toddler, she came down the kiddy-slide at a water park and I was not paying attention and she sunk like an anchor to the bottom of the pool. Error 404. Around the same age, Riley also fell into my friend’s swimming pool right in front of me, and my friend saved her before I got in the water. Error 404.

Oh, I have burned pancakes, made waffles with salt instead of sugar, and even baked the plastic Pam lid along with a batch of brownies one day which probably could have poisoned us all! I have forgotten to send in lunch money, field trip forms, picture forms and snacks for school parties. In fact, I break out into a cold sweat when I get those letters from school about some task I am expected to complete for said child.

I just know I will mess it up somehow. Our latest concert mistake is but one error in a long line of errors, and it only reminded me of all of the other parenting failures in my life. And though I know intellectually that, like that 404 error, perfection will never be found in my life, I keep on pressuring myself to reach for it. I guess showing up at the wrong church isn’t the worst mistake I have made.

No one got hurt and no one was forgotten. Hannah sang her solo fine even without our applause, and she forgave us for the error.

I guess I should feel lucky that at least we showed up on the right night!

Posted by Trish Berg 1:00 PM  


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