Friday, June 17, 2011

Loving Their Dad

It’s amazing how much love a parent can have for his/her kids. I realize that it’s not easy to feel enormous love for kids when they are making messes, washing the laptop with hand sanitizer or throwing a tantrum. However, the love is there. Recently I have felt great love for the parents in the world who do not get to see their children often enough.

Tonight we went to an outdoor movie on our neighbor’s lawn. This neighbor is so much fun and I was thrilled to take my girls (after forcing them to take a late afternoon nap). We excitedly spread out our big blanket and then cuddled up together to watch Gnomeo and Juliet projected onto a white sheet hanging from the fence. There were four other families there too.

I remember this friend inviting us last summer and we didn’t end up going. I was feeling very “single” in a super “married” community. Somehow I had convinced myself that it would be awkward to go to an activity with a bunch of married people not related to me. Weird, I know, I can see how much I have grown up or wised up since then, but I also recognize how “different” we make ourselves feel sometimes. I remember feeling very “different” as a mother who worked outside of the home. I don’t feel that anymore. I feel very blessed to be able to support my family financially and extra blessed to have a job as a teacher so I can spend lots of time with my kids.

After living on the skirts of a rain forest for 2 years, you forget how clear desert skies take your breath away in day and in night. Tonight was really great. I felt so happy and as the night became darker, the stars exploded in the sky. The girls whispered excitedly, “Oh mom! Look at those stars!!” I smiled and snuggled them closer, but then a sharp sadness hit me.

Tears filled my eyes as I thought of their dad. He is missing this experience with them. In their short lives they haven’t had a whole lot of contact with him. When he told me earlier this week that he could only take them for a few hours on Father’s Day and not over night, I worried that they might feel badly. They didn’t seem upset; they’re just excited to take him the cards and painting that they have prepared. I have felt sorry for the girls--sorry that I don’t have a daily or weekly daddy for them.

Tonight though, was the first time that I felt so sorry for him--sorry that he was missing this memory. He has a lot going on right now and he may not feel sorry about missing memories, but sometime in the past or in the future he hurts. I hurt for him tonight.

It is amazing to me how the Lord works on us. There are times in our lives when we are turned inward and may feel “different”, but sometimes, okay many times, this feeling “different” prevents us from not only enjoying life but also from opening our perspective to others and seeing others’ pain and hurts. I haven’t been a fan of my ex-husband for various valid reasons, but lately I have been really praying diligently to see others in the way that Our Heavenly Father sees them. I’m no where near that level of love and I don’t have that amount of compassion, but it was incredible tonight to feel even a fraction of the love and concern that our Father must feel for their daddy.

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