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.
"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