My children know they are safe to disagree and argue with me. My older daughter is sensitive and introspective while my son is clearly an open book of emotions. As I asked him for the fifth time to please do one of his chores a few days ago, he said, "I need to talk with Papa." Well, goodness, I cannot argue with that. So he sat in front of his dad's photograph in our prayer room for a very long time. Our son placed his daddy's ashes in front of the photograph. And then he began to sing. A good long time later I found him playing board games on the floor near the photograph and urn. He needed his daddy time when I thought it was so important for him to accomplish a weekly list of tasks.
In so many ways my children refocus me on what is more important than a clean floor and brushed teeth. Whole hearts and connections are more valuable. The floors and teeth always need cleaning.
I am so grateful to know we are just right in our imperfections, in the mistakes that teach us how to live better with one another. I am thankful for learning lessons along the way and holding each other close as we do. I am so very grateful for the privilege and responsibility of getting to guide and protect these beautiful souls.