Dear God, I was so cross to the children today! Forgive me. I was discouraged and tired - and I took it out on them. Forgive my bad temper, my impatience and, most of all, my yelling. I am so ashamed as I think of it.
Oh God, the pathetic helplessness of children! Their innocence before the awful monster - the enraged adult.
Hours later, I can still see the fear in their eyes as they scurried around, trying to appease me - thinking my anger and maniacal raving was somehow their fault.
And how forgiving they are, hugging me so fervently at bedtime, kissing me good night.
I want to kneel down by each of their beds, wake them up and ask them to forgive me. But I can't. They wouldn't understand. I must go on living with the memory of this awful day, my unjust tirades.
All I can do is straighten a cover, touch a small head burrowed in a pillow and hope with all my heart that they will forgive me.
Lord, in failing these little ones whom you have put in my keeping, I am failing you. Please let your infinite patience and goodness replenish me for tomorrow.
I came across this prayer back when I was the stainless mother to only one or two perfect children. The first time I had to pray it, I wept and wept. In fact, every occasion for which I have to trot out this little gem, I weep. I never thought I would be a mother who had to say these words and I hate myself for it.