Lately, in the upheaval that inevitably follows a ten-day vacation chased by a week of 10 o’clock bedtimes thanks to attending our church’s VBS program, I have been wondering if I would ever see my sweet, calm, role model of an eldest child again. Last week was fraught with whining, silliness, disobedience and where-did-I-go-wrong? moments. I was crying out to the Lord to make up for my weakness and work in Pippa’s heart. This morning I saw a glimmer of hope that my sweet girl is on her way back.
At 7:45 this morning, I awoke to the usual sound of stirrings and goings-on in the girls’ room, so I went to greet them and start our day as I always do. My efforts to open the door to their room were met with resistance. At first I thought maybe Romilly (who only recently has freedom to get out of bed since we converted her crib a little over a week ago) was sitting against the door. I pushed again, thinking she might have felt the pressure of my first attempt and gotten up. Instead, the push back was even stronger, and I heard this:
“No, Ro-Ro, Daddy says we’re not allowed to open the door!” (We’ve always had the rule that the Pippa has to knock and wait for us rather that leaving the bedroom on her own, since their door is right at the top of the steps and we have worried about middle of the night tumbles in the dark if she was in the habit of coming and going as she pleased.)
My sweet big girl, thinking it was her little sister and not I who was trying to open the door, was physically barricading the door to try to stop her sister from leaving the bedroom without permission and incurring the requisite discipline. How it blessed my heart to see this protectiveness and desire to model obedience to her sister! (Believe me, it isn’t that way all the time.) I can only thank God for answering my prayers and instilling character in her that we, as parents, never could on our own.