Mary Hope was still up even though all of the other kids were in bed; being the fifth (and last) of five children comes with a few privileges. We are a lot less strict with her and let her stay up later than we allowed the others to when they were three.
I called her to me so that I could put a pull-up and night-night clothes on her. When she got near me I leaned in close and smiled. This is when she decided to smack me across the face with the plastic beaded necklace that she had concealed in her hand.
I overreacted, letting out a loud yell. Her eyes grew big as I sternly said, “NO, MARY HOPE! That’s bad! Never do that again!”
And then she began to cry.
Then she said something that I couldn’t understand. I asked her to say it again and again I couldn’t understand her. She said it over and over and over. Until I understood what she was saying….
“You’re the best Daddy ever.”
And then I began to cry.
In the only way that she knew how, she was apologizing and seeking forgiveness.
I grabbed her up, held her tightly, and told her that I loved her over and over.
And then I smiled as I thought of how it must have pleased God to give me such a valuable picture of His grace in such a powerfully touching way.
Shortly after this, Mary Hope went to sleep.
I was in my bedroom the next day, doing nothing in particular, when she ran into the room and asked me to dance with her. So I danced.
Because she still thinks that I’m the best Daddy ever.
(What lessons have you learned or re-learned from your kids lately? When is the last time that you danced? Share away!)