This is how hearts recharge

I was gone over the weekend. Jackie faired well without me. Our reunions are always sweet, but it occurred to me that she controls herself with poise at goodbyes.

She went to kindergarten on Monday and Monday night she fell asleep fast. But she tossed and turned. Much like me. I could hear her having a hard time breathing, she talked in her sleep, for a while I thought she left the bed and slept on the small mattress up in the loft.

So Tuesday night I put her to bed and read her the story and I wasn’t in a rush. I gave her my time with undivided attention, and endless patience. She drank from it with thirst. She relished. We were done and she seemed reluctant to go up to her bed. So I picked her up in my arms, and she curled like a baby in my lap, and sang to her, and whispered prayer in he ear and then sang some more. Her breathing became slow and heavy, but it would be suddenly interrupted by a question she had. And then we would sit like this, cheek to cheek. Her soft face, her unruly hair, her fresh smell. I thought she will fall asleep and I won’t be able to carry her up. I eventually urged he to go up. She felt asleep instantly. She was tired and now her cup was full. She slept smoothly through the night. I wonder sometimes… the small prices of time, of patience late at night have such big return investment. Sometimes I get a glimpse of rich blossoming right away.

I hear of rough teenage stages. And I don’t doubt that we’ll have friction and that we’ll create sparks. My goal is to create an avenue of trust and learn the way to her heart, to communicate my commitment and love the best I can, now that she has wide open arms to receive everything I have to give. Sometimes, when I’m pensive or I have corrected some behavior of hers, she stops, looks at me and says: “thank you for taking such good care of me. Thank you for giving me medicine when I’m sick. Thank you for loving me.” I didn’t teach her to say this. Sometimes when she had been ungrateful, I told her that instead of whining and complaining, I wish she simply said thank you for what she got.

Other than that, we pray casually. We pray every day and we give thanks to God. She often just listens to us expressing our gratitude in daily conversations with God… so I think the gratitude we show is what teaches her best to be grateful herself.