Sarah and I went away for the weekend.
We had a fantastic time! We got in some hiking and canoeing in what was amazing weather.
We went away just the two of us for the second time since Nolan was born. It was a really fun weekend but I missed him. Not surprisingly I was excited to see him. We were driving home and I was thinking about our little guy and wondering how he would react.
I was thinking about how he yells and runs to see me when I pick him up at day care. What will he do after 3 days of not seeing me?
He did nothing.
He was ecstatic to see Sarah, but not me.
He hugged her and cuddles with her but wanted nothing to do with me and I don’t know why. What I do know is that it hurt. I was so excited to see him and he didn’t seem even the least bit interested.
I decided if he didn’t want to spend time with me I would let him make that choice (13 month olds get choices too). So when I came time to read Nolan his bed time story I said to Sarah “you can do it, he doesn’t want me.”
And Sarah, as she so often does gently said “just read your son a frigin’ bed time story.”
So gentle, and full of love and grace.
She was right. She usually is.
I wrote not too long ago about how I don’t get to be short or distant if I’ve had a bad day. I need to just choose to love even when I’ve had a hard day. It’s something I learned from my dad.
I think this is tied to that, the other side of the same coin. I don’t get to be rude or distant just because someone is rude or distant to me (as rude and distant as a 13 month old can be).
My day doesn’t dictate the way I love my wife. In the same way my wife’s day doesn’t dictate the way I love her.
And this goes for everyone, not just Sarah and Nolan.
Just because someone is short or harsh or difficult doesn’t mean we get to be that back. Maybe society says we get that right, but we’re called to give up that right and choose love.
I eventually sat down and did story time with Nolan, but I shouldn’t have needed to be pushed. Difficult or easy, fun or grumpy, engaged or distant I need to choose to pour my life and love into Nolan.
Difficult or easy, fun or grumpy, engaged or distant we are called to pour our lives into our neighbours, co-workers and enemies.
Love is a choice we make and we’re called to make it every time not just when people make it easy for us.