Has your son or daughter ever said something to you that resonated into your very bones? Served as a wake-up slap in the face? Broken your heart so badly you thought it would never beat again? Say something that you never thought you would hear them say?
For my daughter’s ninth birthday I went to the party store to pick up supplies. While I was there I ran into the store next door just to window shop. I saw the perfect Oriental rug for the living room and bought it on impulse. At home she helped me unroll it and get it positioned just right. As we were sitting on the couch, admiring how perfect the colors were, she said, “You make really good decisions when you’re by yourself.”
“Yes”, I thought, “she is right. I do make good decisions when her dad is not with me.”
When she was twelve and I told her we were getting a divorce she said, “It’s about time.”
“Yes”, I thought, “she understands.”
When she was sixteen she said, “I understand why you had to leave Dad, and I respect you for having the strength to do it, but I will never forgive you for breaking up our family and hurting him so badly.”
“No”, I thought, “she will never understand.”
One month before her nineteenth birthday I became engaged. On her birthday she cried all day and wouldn’t tell me why. Three months later when she was with my fiancé, Lionheart, helping him choose tuxedos for the wedding party she told him she understood why I loved him so much but she cried on her birthday because she realized I would never get back together with her dad.
“No”, I thought, “she should be over this by now.”
When she was almost twenty she decided to go ahead and marry her fiancé. She asked me for a guest list, and I gave it to her when we got together for her twentieth birthday. When she saw Lionheart’s mother and sisters on the list she said, “I’m not inviting HIS family! HE will be lucky if I even allow HIM to attend. You will walk down the aisle with my father and sit with him, the way it SHOULD be!”
“No”, I thought, “she will never get over this.”
When she was twenty-four she handed their first child, our first grandchild, to Lionheart and said, “Here, grandpa, do you want to hold him?”
“Maybe”, I thought, “there is hope after all.”
What has your child said to you that will stay with you forever?