Words to Cry Over

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.

And cry.

And 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.

And cry.

And 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!)

39 thoughts on “Words to Cry Over

  1. My kids are gone and on their own so it is hard to say. I have learned from my grandson that I am loved. 🙂 Dance? Is that the process when two left feet try to coordinate and work together? Never seen it. Besides, since when can white men dance?

  2. Thanks Matt, great story of a father’s love. My kids grab my heart and toss it around like a uncontrolled yo-yo sometimes, but man…do they ever teach me about God!

  3. Matt, really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing this humbling and special moment with us.

    We dance all the time. Probably every day. In the living room, in the bedroom, while we’re eating dinner…. 🙂

  4. Great stuff.

    I actually had a mini-dance part with my 2 year old son last night. I was cooking dinner (the wife was out on a photo shoot), and had iTunes jamming in the background. Some song came on that he decided he liked the beat of, and he runs in the kitchen, bobbing up and down and yelling “Dance, Daddy! Dance!” So we did. Love it.

  5. Great blog post Matt. It’s my grandchildren, especially Zoe, who give me these moments now. Sometimes when I look and feel my worst Zoe will say “Nana you are beautiful!”

  6. that was beautiful. I would also pay money to see you cry. Just because it’s cool to see big people cry. #justsaying.

  7. What a sweet story, Matt. I love it.

    My 4 y.o. is in the question asking stage. He wants me to explain everything. Where does the poop go when you flush the toilet. What happens to the mail when you put in the mailbox. Why does it rain constantly in Seattle? Some days I don’t have the patience to break it down for him. But, I love his insane curiosity for how the world works. I want to channel all that curiosity into being curious about God-into knowing Him fully.

    We dance all.the.time at our house. Like, really. We should have a strobe light in our dining room or at least a disco ball.

  8. My daughter lives 2000 miles away, but last week she flew home and we got to spend a week with her on our vacation. It was so nice to sit up late with her and have some really cool mother-father-daughter chats, and to give her real live hugs. They grow up so fast!

  9. Matt, what a sweet story! So glad to see that I’m not the only dad who flubs it up and is still loved anyway. My 4yo is like your Mary Hope (most of the time); she tells me “You’re the best dad ever!”

  10. This was most excellent. What I’ve learned from my kids is not. I’ve learned that my babies fart a lot and they don’t understand that it’s funny. I’ve learned that both my twins will cuddle with anyone. I thought I was special but noaaaaa. I’ve learned that they don’t bring a lot to the table because they are only 9 weeks old…but I love them so much!

  11. Such a sweet story and wonderful picture of our Heavenly Father. Not much of a dancer but I’ve had some wonderful and sweet conversations with both of my kiddos who are now grownup – time has gone by so fast 😦

  12. My 5 year old asks me to dance at the bus stop every day. And I do. Because I want to be the best mommy ever.

    Mary Hope is a lucky little girl.

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