“Patient Realism” is the title of a section within chapter 7 of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia -The Joy of Love ‘Towards a Better Education of Children.’ One line to define patient realism is ” changing a child’s behaviour involves a gradual process, but also that freedom needs to be channeled and stimulated, since by itself it does not ensure growth in maturity. ”
All parents go through constant self-doubt that they might not be getting this patient realism right. In fact, if we’re honest, most of us won’t..at least not all of the time. And then just occasionally something happens, or a child says or does something that restores your confidence in your parenting abilities. I thank God for just such a recent boost which came in the form and expression of a piece of work from my 7 year old son. He wrote:
A Recipe for A Happy Home
1. First, put a teaspoon of courage in to a bowl.
2. Secondly sprinkle 100g of love
3. After that carefully pour a teaspoon of faith in a cup.
4. Next gently place 87g of peace.
5. Now put 38g of caring in to the mixture
6. Finally make 51g of happiness icing to put on top of your happy home.
I was most edified by this simple piece of writing from my son, so much so that it made me feel touched by the mercy of God in my fatherhood. A fitting end to the conclusion of the Year of Mercy…..to receive an expression of mercy through my child’s simple uncomplicated love and faith. May your own conclusion to this jubilee year be one of knowing the gentle peace of Christ.