This story always tugs at my heart, even now. It is from “Notes To My Kids: Little Stories About My Grown Up Kids”.
Home with Baby Jane
One day when we were alone at the Monterrey house, I was playing with you. You were maybe six months old. Your mom and Roger were out, and we had the run of the place.
You were a very good baby. You smiled big and were not fussy unless you were sick or needed changing. However, on that day you were not as happy as usual. I do not remember why, but you were not in a good mood.
I remember sitting you up on the kitchen countertop—you were old enough to sit upright on your own. While I retrieved something for you, you cried, loud and continuously. You were not happy and were, for once, demanding.
At that point, I did something I seldom ever did. I snapped at you, telling you to stop crying. Being someone who is patient and not prone to anger, I am not sure why I did that; but it made you cry even more. You had a look of hurt and confusion on your little face, which normally had a smile. “Why did you do that, Daddy?” your face spoke to me without words.
Realizing what I had done, I immediately rushed to you and picked you up, holding you tight in my arms. I told you I was sorry many times, and I even cried because I had obviously hurt you so. I felt about two inches high. Your tears tore me apart. I had done you wrong, and I needed to let you know I loved you so.
After a short time, you stopped crying. I looked at you and told you I was sorry and that I loved you. I hugged you tight, and you were okay. You calmed down and smiled at me again like you always did before. You seemed to tell me, “Now that’s how you normally act, Daddy.” That little smile from you, my little baby girl, let me know something important that day. A big hug and a word of love can do much to wipe away the tears of sickness and hurt. It is something we should always remember before we snap or snarl at someone we love dearly. Love goes a lot further in life than anger.