Now They Will Have Peace!

I distinctly remember a time I overheard Lilly playing with her dolls.

She was a sweet and saucy three-year-old who had just discovered the wonders of her imagination and "pretend play." I was wiping down kitchen counters--remnants of spilled breakfast cereal left to petrify on the formica unless I acted fast--while she played in the adjacent living room. I could hear her tiny voice playing the parts of both the mommy doll and the daddy doll, which she clutched in her hands:

"Alright baby, it's time for your nap."

"Let's put you in your crib."

I peeked into the living room and saw her gingerly place the plastic baby doll in her pink cradle. She was playing with her dollhouse, I noticed, and had set up all the accompanying furniture. I watched as she positioned the mommy and daddy dolls around the kitchen table. I couldn't resist...I had to interrupt, I had to ask:

"Lilly, what will the mommy and daddy do now that the baby is asleep?"

She paused for only a moment before replying:

"Now they will have peace!"

I can't begin to describe in words how big my smile was when she said that, or how laughter crept into my throat and tickled my lips. Nor could I accurately convey the love and lightness felt in my heart, that such a witty comment invoked. I remember how I giggled and giggled for days afterward.

Beneath the endearing quality of this experience--and my daughter's brilliant response and charm--lies an important notion. Our homes should be peaceful places. This inspires a number of questions:

Are our homes safe havens for our children and family members? Are they our sanctuaries in an otherwise frightening and tumultuous world? Does peace reside within the walls? Are we striving to extinguish anger and avoid contention?

So frequently my home is anything but peaceful!!!

Years ago Barbara Bush, wife of former president George Bush, spoke to the graduates of Wellesley College. In her speech she said, "Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside YOUR house." What is happening inside your house? Is peace happening? Is kindness happening? Is forgiveness happening? Is love?

My family is the most important cause of my lifetime. And because it is important to me, I will strive mightily in creating a place of love, acceptance, security, peace, and safety for the children I've been blessed with. It is not easy, but a solid family unit is worth working for.

Diet Coke WILL be required. 


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