When it’s not just a cup of hot cocoa…
We sat at the kitchen table, beaten down and worn with love and art projects over the years, sipping hot cocoa. It was then that our six year old said to me, “Your hot cocoa tastes so good.” The eight year old grinned. I replied, “That’s because every cup is made with love.”
Their response caught me off guard,
“Daddy’s isn’t as good, because he only gives us stuff cause he has to.”
How could I respond to that? It isn’t that my husband doesn’t care for them, but he does treat their requests as burdensome, as we are all wont to do, given our myriad responsibilities. He works very hard for the upkeep of our family, and I have had many discussions with the children regarding that fact. My father has even stepped in on occasion to remedy their misconceptions and explain that their father’s work is only for their betterment.
The reality is that until they’re older the children likely won’t fully understand the struggles and sacrifices that we have made on their behalf. In the here and now, however, I will continue to remind them that the sole reason he works so hard is because of his love for them. I distinctly remember my own father’s insane work schedule, 7a-11p while I was in high school, and how I would sit up with our Dalmatian and wait for him at night.
As I listen to my own children express their sadness over a father harried by his responsibilities, I am reminded of my own father, and how as an adult, I can appreciate the sound character and work ethic of both men.
As a parent though, I need to pray for both my spouse and myself that we can dedicate each action to building up our children, and that even their smallest requests should be done out of love and kindness. It is so easy to become overwhelmed or overwrought with the requirements of the day that this simple fact slips by, but it makes such an impression in the minds of our children.
Here is my simple but profound reminder to infuse all of my actions with my love for them: