Heart to Heart

“Dad, can I talk to you outside,” said our youngest kid to me last weekend. We were camping in the backyard, tent set up for the three kids and me.

Our son and I had just gotten into it — he’s seven, the middle kid — and he as lying on the tent floor crying in the dark. Poor guy. I felt pretty crummy. I came down on him a little too hard (not physically, mind you, but shutting down his banter as we were trying to go to sleep for the night).

And so? So our younger daughter asked to step out side the tent to talk. It was more like a talking to. She to me. We crawled out of the tent and walked a few feet away, standing quietly in the dark on the back patio.

It was a heart to heart talk; she explained to me how she understood that I had hurt our son’s feelings; it was how I should have not been so hard on him; that they were all “to blame.”

I was taken aback by her tender thoughts about her brother. She quietly and sincerely explained her feelings about the situation. I was also taken back by by my own short fuse of patience to round out the day. I hadn’t needed to be so sharp with my son.

That heart to heart talk reminded me of the need to be more patient, even if I feel the fuse burning down. That conversation in the dark also reminded me how luck we are to have children that display empathy, and in particular taking action in a mature manner when spurred by that empathy.

Heart to Heart, GOOD.

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