I stood motionless in the hallway just outside my daughter’s bedroom, with my ear pressed against her door.
I listened intently, but all was silent inside.
I let out a long, heavy sigh and was about to turn and walk back to the kitchen, when a burst of quiet, suppressed sobs came quavering from inside the bedroom.
Good. She was still awake.
I quietly turned the lever and peeked inside. The pale streak of light from the open doorway illuminated the dark bedroom just enough for me to make out the tiny form of my 3 year old. She was lying on her bed, curled up in a sad little ball, and she was just starting into another fit of gasping little sobs. As soon as she saw me standing silhouetted in the doorway, however, she straightened up and started hurriedly wiping her tears on her sleeves.
She didn’t want me to know that she was still crying.
While my little girl was regaining her composure, I quietly walked across the bedroom and sat down on the edge of her bed.
She looked up at me with red, puffy eyes, not really sure what to expect. But neither of us said a word. I just reached down and ran my fingers through her curly brown hair, and with a very heavy heart, gently caressed her face with my hand. Her cheeks were cold and splotchy from all those tears. Suddenly, however, she grabbed my hand and broke down into another fit of sobbing:
“I’m sorry, Da-da-dad!”
I tell ya, that just broke my heart. I leaned forward, still holding her hand, and said:
“I’m sorry too, little monkey. I shouldn’t have raised my voice like that. Will you forgive me?”
Through the tears and the crying, she managed to say that she would — and that she’d do better tomorrow.
I scooped her up into my arms and gave her a big, tight, Dad-hug, and told her that I loved her so much — and that we’d both do better tomorrow.
Today I’m grateful for second chances.