Lili, my especially emotive emotional one, was in a m-o-o-d tonight. She whined and complained at every turn of getting her to bed, and then she had the audacity to ask me to cuddle with her for a few minutes after tucking her in.
I let her know how little I wanted to spend any more time than necessary in her whiny company. Towards the end of my tirade, I started having a little twinge of feeling rather graceless; and by the time I finished, I was convinced I had laid out a direct path for teaching her that she needs to earn my love and my affection.
So we cuddled. Because when you're a turd is when you really need grace, right? Being rejected in the midst of our turdliness (for lack of a better term) adds the pain of shame and rejection to what we already know, that we are broken and stuck. Few of us want to be turds; we can't help ourselves. What we deeply long for is to be loved in spite of it. In fact, when push comes to shove, we all need to be loved in spite of ourselves, or we're not truly loved at all. What better way to show my little girl that she is always safe, loved, welcomed and protected by her Heavenly Father, no matter what she does, than to be an earthly mother who every now and then rises above my own turdliness to show her grace.
Lili (like all of us) has to learn that actions have consequences and that we need to be the masters of our emotions, rather than letting our emotions dictate how we act and how we treat others. But tonight was a night for a different kind of lesson, and when she finally kissed me good night and told me, "I love you, mom," I was pretty sure I chose the right lesson this time.