A return on my investment. Actually, I've been getting a lot of those, but this one was super significant. This one is my dream come true for today. A dream that lives in momma's hearts everywhere.
It's all my patient, and repentant when not so patient, parenting paying off. It's all the overcooked dinners and unread books because I have to stop many times to help work through conflict/resolution issues.
All parents must feel a special need to have their children love and care for each other. I imagine lots of parents discussing into the night: "how do we help these kids not hate each other".
I know Brad and I have despite the fact that they are wonderful friends and playmates. I feel the responsibility keenly. Maybe it's because my brother and I struggled. I am ashamed about how I treated him growing up. We drove each other crazy - on purpose. Or maybe it's because we are blending families here. I want both the girls to have such a good experience in bonding. I carry that responsibility as their caretaker.
I have thought of and prayed for blended families more since blending someone into my own. I have thought of and prayed more for families who adopt and foster. Not because loving a kiddo is hard - that's easy. But I can't heal heart wounds on either side of this blend. I can't put my hope and 35-year-old wisdom into these littles.
Life is theirs to discover. Life is theirs to learn. This is their journey.
And as it is, I'm their journey guide right now. For better or for worse. I'm what they get.
So often I must stop cooking dinner, and I go plop down on the living room floor. I take a deep breath and say again, "Can I help you two somehow? Would you like me to help you work through this?"
My forever, tearful Amia shakes her head yes and our graphted-in girl does too. I listen. Everybody gets a turn to talk, and I say, "You are allowed to say how you feel, but it matters how you say it." And I say again for the hundredth time in these past months, "How could you say that nicer? Can you try a different tone? Can you think about how she feels? Can you apologize? Could you forgive her? Could we move on? This relationship is too important to fight over this. Loving each other is worth more than ________."
These type of conversations are a daily part of our routine for months, sometimes more than once a day. Then today, there was a return.
I overheard a small disagreement in the living. Nothing major. Nothing to dry my wet dishwater hands about. Still, I held my breath.
And I heard one say, "How about we just quit arguing and move on?" Then, I heard the other reply, "Okay."
I heard, "Okay".
Be still my heart.
They resumed their play and that was that. I continued washing dishes beaming. I called into them after a moment of quiet thanks, "Good job, girls! You did a good job letting that go and moving on!"
I can't put into words my joy and gratitude. Months of pleading, praying, and teaching turned into a moment of, "okay". It probably won't tomorrow. It may not in 5 minutes. But, it did now. It's a glimpse of what is to come.
What I am going for here is the life long friend, the sisterly bond that is joy and giggles, the forever love of two blended girls becoming one family.
We will see what they will discover, and learn, and choose for themselves. I think today was an inkling. I think today was a promise of love.
I loved it.
emily... just plain emily.