My daughter, the peacemaker

So yesterday my husband and I were having one of those “intense discussions” that married couples must have from time ot time, and my daughter happened to still be awake despite the lateness of the hour.  She hates for either my husband or I to be upset and she almost always chooses to try to cheer us up.  So she puts ribbons in my hair, she dances and sings for me, she does a million little things that distract me from the topic at hand and frankly started to annoy me after a while.

At some point in the conversation I turned to her and said, “mommy and daddy really need to talk about this, please stop talking to me.”

What does she do?  She mimes by pointing at my lips and pointing at my husbands lips and then making “kissing face” and emphatically waves her arms around.  I said, “mommy really doesn’t feel like kissing daddy right now” and her face just deflated.  Very quietly she says, “please?”

So I take her in my lap and hold her, and eventually she wanders off to play in her bedroom.  And there’s this part of me that just felt awful.  I felt awful because I hadn’t wanted her to have to see us upset with each other, because she sincerely tried everything she knew how to try to lighten the situation, because she is little and still thinks that everything can be made better with a kiss like in the movies, because there’s a lot she has yet to learn about how a marriage operates and my husband and I made the decision long ago that we would let our children see us fight but we would always fight fair, so that when they got married they would have a good example to work from.

But… part of me maybe felt like lately we’re not setting the best example.

Yet even so, I look at my daughter and the kind of person she is, and I know that despite every area of my life in which I fall short, in one area I have done really well.  Well, I can’t take full credit for her.  My husband has done really well, and God himself did spectacularly when he mixed her DNA.

You may think you know everything there is to know about life.  Then you have kids.  And every single day is a lesson about life, love, patience, tolerance, discovery, anxiety, anger…  Every thing you could possibly feel, good and bad, they will teach you to deal with.  And the real miracle?  When you tuck them in to bed you will kiss them and cry and be grateful that they forced you to feel.  You will hate the fact that they will ever grow up and leave you.

It’s just…  awe inspiring.  Yes.  Those are the words.

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6 thoughts on “My daughter, the peacemaker

  1. “awe inspiring”….good choice of words.

    It seems like no matter what is going on around us or in us that seems so heavy, our children can change it all for us with a word, a look or an action.

    Thanks for sharing Linsey.

  2. Lindsey,

    What a great story and oh so true. I’ve worked with young children for 20 years now and there’s no question they’ve been my most honest and powerful teachers in that time.

    Showing a child honestly how to be in a committed, loving relationship that’s tough sometimes and requires work much of the time is an incredible gift to give them. If they can see arguing doesn’t mean giving up, and conflict doesn’t mean absence of love, then wow…what a model for their future.

    I think the trick is doing that while at the same time giving them the security a child needs which it sounds like you’re doing.

    So….have you two kissed yet? Huh? Have you?

  3. Haha, we like to call that “intense moments of fellowship.”

    The perception of a small child is just incredible. I would comment further and even give specific examples but I may offend some.

    Even after being married to my “bride” for a little over 34yrs I find it difficult to truely to “love her as Christ loved the Church”. Which of course leaves her short in the “wives submit to your husbands” department. However, our behavior toward each other is not the determining factor on how each of us are to carry out the “office” of husband or wife much less daddy or mommy.

    Isn’t it amazing how those little people come into existance? “I knew you in your mothers womb.”

  4. That just kind of leaves me feeling a little “blown away.” I am always amazed and kids… mine and others. They are so present in the moment! They want us to be so happy… we are so lucky to have them or to have them cross our lives.

  5. Lindsey, I went into parenthood thinking about all I would teach and found out that I have learned a whole lot more.

    You have done a great thing in showing your children that disagreeing doesn’t mean hate. I was once told by a wise old woman that, “If two committed partners never fight or argue, then one of them is unnecessary.” She meant that if there are never any differences in opinion then one partner never has an opinion.

    And don’t you just love the way kids look at the world? Adults can learn a thing or two from children.

  6. That’s a very sweet story. Though perhaps your daughter is wise beyond her years and is attempting to explain through pantomime that makeup sex is the best sex that one can have. See, that right there is wisdom.

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