Thursday, October 3, 2013

Safe Place

It hadn't been the greatest couple of days for neighborhood adventures with our kids. Abby had come home sad when two other little girls told her she was little. Jake had been left out by a "friend". Then he came in to announce that two "friends" outside were excluding him because he didn't cheer for the same sports team. (There's not much hope for him here with two nerd parents.)

I did my best to listen and empathize with Jake. In the end, Jake, Cameron and I all gathered in the kitchen to make pizza for dinner. Cameron took the crust out to the grill then back in for toppings. Jake grated cheese. I added the toppings.
Cameron made a quick joke.

"Dad, you're funny. Mom, you're funny," Jake said.

It was a delightful few minutes. Everything felt cozy, safe, and threaded with love and togetherness.

"Jake," I said impulsively, "it's so good to have you here with us. Thanks for being such a good helper!"

"Among the many things science has taught us about high-risk and low-risk families is the need           for parents to be safe for their children to be around. Safe from criticism, sarcasm, preaching,             screaming, hitting, abuse (in any form), pleadings, and other "traps" parents get themselves               into. Regularly gathering our family about us provides a powerful safeguard against               circumstances that put families at risk." --Christlike Parenting by Glenn Latham

I wish I could protect my children from every little negative encounter in life. But that's not really how life works. But I can seize the opportunity to listen, love, and create a safe, peaceful environment that they will want to come home to.

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