“Why are you crying?” I asked my son.
He’s now three years old with raggedy hair, it has overgrown and covers his eyes. My sister is a hair stylist but that doesn’t change the fact he is too hyper to sit still long enough for his hair to be trimmed. In this moment he is wearing ninja turtle pajamas with a stuffed Curious George in one hand and a Captain America Action Figurein the other. A reminder in the eyes of his mother that he is transitioning from baby to boy. On the floor next to my feet I am trying not to step on his block creations. He was so proud to show me the truck he created from Lego Duploblocks, it’s just outside the realm of my step, right next to the race car mat he got for Christmas last year. I worry that if I knock the truck over it would just cause more emotional trauma to the over tired child of mine.
Curled up in his red race car under a thick blanket he responds to my question. “Don’t want sleep. Daddy will go bye bye.”
How do you encourage dad in your family?
Children know when parents are not happy with one another. They know when tension lives in the home. It becomes apparent when a spouse walks in the door, but it doesn’t leave when the other spouse leaves. It stays behind. It lives in the walls of the house. When the marriage is hurting, the children are hurting.
The sadness expressed by my son isn’t the result of a family in battle. Instead, it is the result of a long and happy weekend. This sadness isn’t because he fears his father will never come back but because he doesn’t want to see his dad leave. He knows that tomorrow his daddy has to go to work. We reminded him that daddy always comes home and that daddy will always come back. But as we were telling him this I couldn’t help but see ache and love in the eyes of my husband.
Not all boys are blessed with loving fathers.
My son knows daddy will come back. My son knows that daddy loves him. My husband knows that his boy loves him.
I’ve told you before that I make it a point to include my husband into the daily lives of our children. Even when he is away at work I want my children to know that he still loves them. Just because they can not see him doesn’t mean that their father stops loving them. I want them to have a healthy relationship with their dad and I know that my role as a mom plays a vital part in how they see their father.
If I lash out in emotion my children see that. If I snap my answers, they sense that. If I talk bad about him when he is not around, they hear that. So, I make it a point to always show my love to my spouse in front of my children. I try not to take their youth as a sign that they are less than me in the sense of their emotional needs. I understand that they know more than I am aware of, I am often amazed at the small details they remember.
Monday Marriage Challenge:
Talk highly of your spouse to your children when your spouse is not home.
How do you encourage dad?