Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Love, Logic and Little Girls

I am a better person than I was 15 years ago when I got married.  I am a better person than I was 6 years ago when we adopted Elli.  I guess that's the goal.  To improve over time.  There is something about overseeing the needs of nine separate individuals that refines a person.  Helps them develop patience and insight.

I am surrounded by a lot of little girls.  Two teenagers and three pre-teens.  That's a lot of estrogen going on.  Little girls are not strong on logic.  (I could make a comment here about big girls, but I want to be able to sleep on the air mattress tonight...:)  Monday night I was taking all of the kids to the park for family home evening.  Christi wasn't feeling great, so I was flying solo.  Jessica and Cali were deciding which shoes to wear.  The last time we went shoe shopping, we did something rather unwise.    Seemed economical at the time.  Really dumb in retrospect.  Cal and Jess have the same size feet.  We got two pairs of shoes and said they could share them.  At first, they liked both pair equally, but they quickly decided that one pair was better than the other.  And so the drama began.  

It culminated last night.  Christi told Cali she could wear the preferred pair.  Jess wanted them, too.  Because of the way they're designed, the preferred pair is easier to run in.  When you think about this for two seconds, it is logical that Jessica should wear them if we're going to the park.  She will want to run around, and it won't make that much difference to Cal.  But of course using logic would be too easy.  I told Cali she had to let Jesi wear them this time.  I wasn't mean about it, but I wasn't overly tender, either.  Cali began to tear up.  The sunlight was rapidly waning.  We needed to leave.  The me of 5 or 15 years ago would have just stuck to the logic of the situation and firmly insisted that Cali remove the shoes.  But the me of today could see that this was about so much more than shoes.  I stopped, knelt down so I was at the girls' eye level, and lovingly talked with my two daughters about what we could do.  I assured Cali that I was just as concerned about her needs as I was about Jessica's.  It took about 10 minutes, but it ended up being a tremendous bonding experience for all three of us.  In the end, both girls were willing to let the other one wear the shoes.

I'm honestly not trying to pat myself on the back here.  Rather, I'm expressing deep gratitude for the blessings I have received from having my wonderful kids.  The blessings are innumerable, but patience is certainly one that stands out.  I love being a dad.  I love my daughters, even it they are a bit on the emotional side:)



  1. Dude - I SO.feel.your.pain!!

    One of the things Marie has turned me onto over the last 29 years or so of parenting - actually in the last 3 or so - is a book I'll plug. Don't recall the woman's name - but the book is called "Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control" - or BCLC for short. Like most all of these "parenting models" we take some to heart and ignore the rest - nothing works "completely" for anyone. But what you did with the girls last night is a part of this model that is "right out of the book". You and me bro - we're a lot a like when it comes to parenting - I'm not usually "harsh" (but I have my moments like anyone) - but I'm sometimes not overly "kind" either - and I can shut down a couple of my youngest in a second. But remembering the BCLC really helps avoid the shutdowns - but better still - helps short circuit the accidental ones!

    Great stuff - in particular when daily life is stressed to the max - you know - like living without beds and stuff? ;)

    hugs to all - just love you guys -

    aus and co.

  2. Thank you for this post. I loved it and needed to hear it.

  3. The title of this post sounds like a great book! Start writing!


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