For making it to the top of the staircase on one of her positive-behavior- reinforcement charts, Darcy earned a ticket for a date with the parent of her choice. She chose me. I was flattered and whisked her off one evening to Panera for dessert by the fireplace. I had run across an article about taking time to ask your children questions and really listening to their answers. As she sipped on her smoothie and nibbled on her cornbread, I took some of the suggested questions in an effort to get to know my middle child better.
"Darcy," I began as she crawled in my lap. "What is something that mommy does that you wish she wouldn't do?" I cringed as I awaited her response. It had not exactly been a stress-free year. Between trying to homeschool her older sister to taking care of her baby sister, surely I had lost my temper with her a few times. I'm sure she'll ask me to not get so loud when I'm frustrated. Or maybe she'll ask that I don't grab her arm so tightly when I'm trying to get her to listen to me. Perhaps she'll ask me to use less hostile methods to get her to obey.
"Well..." I braced myself for her answer. How could I reverse the scars that I've given my child? "Can you please not give me broccoli ever again?" I furrowed my brow as I tried to understand. "I only like broccoli with lemon juice."
Kids are so resilient. So forgiving. I've made so many mistakes that I've feared to be irreversible, but here all Darcy can complain about is the dish of broccoli that I apparently forgot to season with lemon juice.
Haley and Darcy, as you are in Pennsylvania this week with Grandparents, please know that I love you and miss you. Soon we'll be together again, restored, refreshed, and healed. I look forward to the time we'll have catching up over a freshly steamed plate of lemon broccoli.