… And a little child will lead Daddy

… and a little child will lead them.
— Isaiah 11:6

Andy and I were having a rough evening.  He was in the midst of adjusting to life in First Grade, coming home exhausted, and taking out his frustrations on every member of the family.  Having unleashed my entire arsenal of constructive parenting skills, and perhaps a few nonconstructive ones as well, I sent him to his room to go to bed.  There was much screaming, disparaging remarks about my parenting skills, door slamming, and wall kicking in response.

I turned to walk into Matthew’s bedroom to tuck him in for the night.  He sat in his bed humming a little tune, until I sat on the edge of his bed.

“Daddy?  Andy’s sad.  We need to make him happy.”

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea.  He’s pretty grumpy.”

“I’ll make silly faces at him, like this, and that will make him happy.”

“We can try.”

Matthew hopped off the bed, and the two of us rounded the corner into Andy’s room.  We were greeted with screaming as soon as we entered.  Matthew started making silly faces, but the result was the opposite of what he expected: louder screams and incomprehensible yelling.

“Andy, Matthew thinks making silly faces will make you happy.”

Through big sobs Andy managed to get a sentence out, “if he really wanted to make me happy he would give me a hug.”

Andy barely finished the sentence before he was nearly knocked over by his little brother wrapping his arms around him with the biggest bear-hug he could muster.  I joined in and heard Matthew shout out “group hug!”  Within moments the three of us were smiling and laughing.

Can Daddy learn a lesson in compassion and mercy from a happy four year old?  Absolutely.  It’s even more fitting that the next verse comes from the book of (little brother) Matthew:

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

– Matthew 19:14

Blessed are the four year old peacemakers, for theirs is the kingdom of a happy home.

and a little child will lead them.

— Isaiah 11:6

Andy and I were having a rough evening. He was in the midst of adjusting to life in First Grade, coming home exhausted, and taking out his frustrations on every member of the family. Having unleashed my entire arsenal of constructive parenting skills, and perhaps a few nonconstructive ones as well, I sent him to his room to go to bed. There was much screaming, disparaging remarks about my parenting skills, door slamming, and kicking.

I turned to walk into Matthew’s bedroom to tuck him in for the night. He sat in his bed humming a little tune, until I sat on the edge of his bed.

Daddy? Andy’s sad. We need to make him happy.”

I don’t know if that’s a good idea. He’s pretty grumpy.”

I’ll make silly faces at him, like this, and that will make him happy.”

We can try.”

Matthew hopped off the bed, and the two of us rounded the corner into Andy’s room. We were created with screaming as soon as we entered. Matthew started making silly faces, but the result was the opposite of what he expected: louder screams and incomprehensible yelling.

Andy, Matthew thinks making silly faces will make you happy.”

Through big sobs Andy managed to get a sentence out, “if he really wanted to make me happy he would give me a hug.”

Andy barely finished the sentence before he was nearly knocked over by his little brother wrapping his arms around him with the biggest bear-hug he could muster. I joined in and heard Matthew shout out “group hug!” Within moments the three of us were smiling and laughing.

Can Daddy learn a lesson in compassion from a happy four year old? Absolutely. It’s even more fitting that the next verse comes from the book of (little brother) Matthew:

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

Matthew 19:14

Blessed are the four year old peacemakers, for theirs is the kingdom of a happy home.

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