There is nothing, the apostle tells us, that can separate us from the love of God, and there are few things that can ultimately separate well-intentioned, well-resourced empathetic parents from the love of their kids. Kids are resilient and long to forgive us when we fail, especially when we can own up to our weaknesses and apologize.
I apologize a lot to my girls. I want them to know there is nothing lost, only gained, in naming one’s own culpability and seeking reconciliation.
I wish our public figures were as good at apologizing as I am teaching my kids to be.
There is hope and relief, not only in the knowledge that our kids and our God are forgiving, but also in the fact that kids forget a lot -- not just their lunches and their gym suits and their extra shoes, but the failings of yesterday. Each day, each conversation is an opportunity to begin again. Morning by morning, new mercies I see. Every day is an opportunity to show our children love, to receive their love, to shape their love for the world into action. Every day is also a chance to have the conversations again. There is not such thing as “the talk,” but rather days and months and years of conversations about the things that we value, about God’s vision for us and the world.
Life with children, even after housebound days huddled under blankets, is not an obnoxious, endlessly iterative song that never ends. Rather, life with children is, for me at least, an endless song of praise.
My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the sweet, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation;
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear that music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul--
How can I keep from singing?
When I sing this hymn at bedtime, sitting at the end of my daughters’ beds, I sing of the new creation, of the melody that flows through our life together, and they listen. Then, they rest, assured of my love and the love of God, the endless song that carries us all.
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