I was having one of “those” parenting days: conflict with my teens over something I’d said, or some ball I’d dropped somehow, made me retreat to my room to try to pull myself together.
For as hard as I’d tried to be the best mom possible, I felt like such a failure. As I sat on my bed I opened a nightstand drawer and found an old diary from years ago. An entry caught my attention: it was just a couple of lines from a day when my son was then just three years old and my girls were in grade school.
“Today as I pulled Gray in the wagon to meet Lauren after school, he said to me, “Ya know, Mom, you’re da goodest mom I evah seen!”
I laid the diary in my lap and felt a tear trickle down my cheek. I missed that little boy in his denim overalls, riding in the Red Flyer wagon. I missed the simplicity of those days. And I realized I missed something else that was important:
All these years I’d been trying so hard to be the best mom, I’d forgotten what it meant to simply be the goodest one.
Now, that’s saying something there.
I wonder what life would look like for each of us if we gave up competing to live our best life and embraced the imperfection and beauty that a goodest life brings.
Goodest means that we can focus on what matters, not what looks impressive.
Goodest means that we don’t have to control all the outcomes, and we can let go of the perfectionism that hinders our creativity and growth.
It means that we can be unafraid of failure, open to chance, welcoming of unexpected bends in the road.
We need more good in this world. And really, there isn’t any higher compliment than to be called:
A good friend.
A good neighbor.
A good son.
A good daughter.
A good mother.
A good father.
A good worker.
A good helper.
A good manager.
A good leader.
A good person.
This world needs the kind of good that you bring to it. Only you can shine the way you do–in your job, in your family, in your community–not by being Best, but by being good at being you.
You bring kindness and joy and delight everywhere you go. You bring everything that’s beautiful and right and true.
And that’s better than best.
It’s the goodest.