My daughter, seven, once found me crying in my bed and wanted to know why I was sad. I told her I missed my mother. She hugged me, "So, why don't you go see her?"
"Because she doesn’t want to see me."
I had to think for a minute.
"She doesn't know how to love me." I said finally.
"Well, let's show her how. We can teach her."
"How can we teach someone to love?"
"By loving them!"
I laughed through my tears.
"Don't cry." My little girl wiped my face with her hand.
"It's good for me to cry," I said. "When you miss someone you love, it's normal to cry."
"Well, can you come make me some food while you're crying, then? I'm hungry."
Another time, my daughter told me,
"I'm so lucky I picked you and Dad to be my parents. I just knew you would be kind and loving."
"I try my best to be kind and loving. I don't know if I always am."
"You are." (Is it legal to remind her that she said this in five years, when she's a teenager??)
I mused aloud,
"So, if you think we choose our parents, why do you think I picked my parents?"
She tilts her head to the side, thinking...
"Maybe you wanted to give them a chance."
"Or, " I suggest,
"Maybe like you said, sometimes it's the children who teach the parents how to love."