One of the greatest gifts my daughters have ever given me is the gift of compassion. I don’t have a cold soul and I know how to show I care and love, but as a stereotypical white male I am not looked at in a normal nuclear family as the one who hands out the hugs and cuddles when someone stubs a toe or walks into a door. However, I am pleased to say when one of my daughters comes crying for what ever reason, they will run into my arms as much as my wife’s.
Just on this, the last time I had to deal out a hug was because Miss four was trying to tell Miss 2.5 that she was not allowed into the toy room because she wasn’t tall enough. This left Miss 2.5 in tears and heading in my direction. Once I got it out of my sobbing daughter what had transpired I set off to find my other daughter to rectify the situation. She was still in the toy room but was no longer interested in the height requirements for playing in the toy room. I told her that she was not allowed to stop her sister from entering the room. Then the 20 “why’s” started. Eventually it came to pass that an innocent sign had started this argument a few months ago. A ride at a show had a height marker on it and the girls were disappointed that they weren’t tall enough to get on the ride. Miss 4 had then turned the toy room into a ride and had lowered the height requirement so that she could play but her sister couldn’t. Very convenient…
When I asked could she lower the height so her sister could play as well she said of course as she didn’t want her sister missing out on the fun. Broke my heart…. And there it was…. Compassion….. Staring me in the face.
A few days later, Miss 4 was in the kitchen while we were unpacking the shopping. She was doing her usual and demanding lots and getting in the way. Frustrated with the noise, the weight of the bags and the rain complicating everything I yelled at Miss 4 to “get the hell out of the kitchen”. She burst into tears and ran to the couch. Even more frustrated with myself now for making my daughter cry, I went over to her and asked what was wrong. She just wanted a bickie, and would then get back on the couch and “not get in your way daddy”. I told her I was sorry for yelling and instead of just smiling like I usually get, she replied “that’s ok daddy, I forgive you”. “I still love you daddy”……..
For the second time in a week my daughter showed me compassion. Teaching me to forgive and forget. As I said earlier I sometimes am too hard. I want my girls to be well regarded in society and grow up normal by society standards. But not at the expense of their spirit. I want them to run and scream and have fun and not have to be quiet just because it’s always the right thing to do. I want them to make mistakes because that’s how you learn. I want my daughters to get it wrong now and then and not have the added stress of Dad getting angry because they did something I didn’t agree with. Something I think we all skip past now and then.
My daughters are my teachers and I am a very proud parent to admit that they have taught me more about life in four short years than I have learnt in my own in the last 36yrs.