Like so many other adults in our modern world, I am
currently married for the second time.
In spite of the pain that arose out of my first marriage, I
was lucky to have two wonderful children out of the
chaos. I also have a child with the wonderful man that is
truly my soulmate. My oldest daughter, who is now 11,
taught me a lesson about life and love several years
When she was in first grade, as Valentine's Day
approached, she came into the kitchen pondering what
makes people fall in love.
She started asking questions about how to find the
perfect person and how you knew when it was right. I
have to admit that I was more amused than anything,
knowing these great philosophical musings were coming
out of a tiny six-year-old body.
Finally, she made the statement that she didn't see
how anyone could make up their minds on their own, so
maybe she should ask "Daddy" (her stepfather) to help
her pick the perfect mate. With a smile on my face
and a hint of laughter in my voice, I explained to her that
if she relied on Daddy to choose her husband, she would
most likely stay single since no one would ever be good
enough for his baby.
She sat silently for a few moments, and then she said,
"Mommy, do you think YOU could help me choose when
I'm old enough?" As I was struggling to frame a reply,
she suddenly sat upright in her chair and stated, "Oh...
never mind. I forgot. It took you two tries!"
Slightly mortified and very humbled, I saw the truth
behind the humor. Yes, it had taken me "two tries," but I
had grown as a person through my mistakes and had
moved on to become a much happier soul. Instead of
simply glossing over her jibe, we sat down, for the first
time, and discussed how even adults can make wrong
choices. As we talked, I felt better about the dissolution
of my first marriage than I ever had, and I saw that my tiny
philosopher was coming to grips with the idea that
making wrong choices could actually be the beginning of
As she enters her preteen years (ugh!) we have
already begun to butt heads over things that have never
mattered before. But, just when I feel we will never come
to terms, she will give me a sly smile and a hug, then
whisper "Two tries."
And I am reminded that everyone needs the room to
explore, fail, and grow. Thank God for the honest wisdom
of a child.
[ Lynnette Johnson -- from 'Love Quotes' ]
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