This is my blessing

Published 9:34 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

Sometimes I hear voices. Sometimes those voices are loud.

Most of the time they sound like the Spanish-accented voice of my mother, and the gruff-toned utterances of my father. Other times I’m pretty sure it’s a voice from the heavens, though it doesn’t usually sound heavenly.

Those voices usually come after my 2-year-old daughter does something I’d rather her not do, and I mutter to myself while dealing with the aftermath.

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All said in sarcastic tones.

Why the sarcasm? How about a little sympathy here?

But I heard those voices when I was younger too.

“Just you wait.”

“Wait for what?” I’d ask out loud to no one after one of my misdeeds.

“You’ll see,” that voice would speak back.

“I’ll see what? When? How? Why?”

I’m now getting the answers to those and other questions I didn’t think to ask — and I’m not sure I like what I’m hearing from those voices.

“You’ll get yours,” I’m pretty sure I heard after I spit back oatmeal in my dad’s bowl, though that could have been his while he was chasing me down the hall.

I’m pretty sure I “got it” then, and I’m getting more of it now, just in my daughter’s deeds.

I should have known.

When my daughter was born, what I heard was, “this is my blessing to you.” She is indeed a blessing.

But if only I had known the deeper meaning of that phrase at the time.

4The many middle-of-the-night wakeups for my daughter to throw up on me.

4Having to change my daughter for the third time after she flung yogurt around the living room.

4Having to scrub paint off of her after she decided her body was a better canvas than the art paper we had provided her.

4Most recently, when she stalls on our way to day care, not putting on her socks and shoes and forcing me to carry her with an already full armload of my leather briefcase and my lunch, along with her apple juice and goldfish snack.

That last one has been a doozy. My wife can give my daughter a 3-count, and the little one is doing what she’s supposed to be doing. I give the 3-count, and I might as well be speaking gibberish.

“Michelle, you have to the count of three to be getting your socks.”

Crickets … as my daughter looks at me, grins and continues playing with her doll house.

I detest the 3-counts, but sometimes circumstances call for them, like when I have to get to work or make an appointment.

My daughter detests the aftermath of the 3-counts, because it involves me picking her up, grabbing our stuff and heading out the door. But she doesn’t detest them enough, because she continues to do it.

Four days in a row with no end in sight.

The most recent time, she ignored my call to get her socks and go to put on her shoes, and so I picked her up off the couch, grabbed her socks, shoes and jacket and headed outside to take her to daycare.

She cried and squirmed in my arms all the way to the car, bare feet dangling, no jacket on, all the way to the car.

Still crying when I was putting her in her car seat, she finally chose to put on her socks and shoes. Then she asked for the apple juice I normally have for her for our car rides.

Of course I forgot it. More crying. Dad for the win.

I could only hear a sarcastic cacophony.

“Enjoy your payback.”

“Ha, ha!”

“Now you know what it was like for us.”

“Now you’re getting it.”

I’m getting it, all right.

This is my blessing, I say to myself.

Isn’t that the truth?

I get the deeper meaning now.

But now that I’ve learned my lesson, can I just get my daughter’s sweet smile, her giggles and her hugs and kisses, and not all that other stuff?

“Nope, you get the complete package.”

OK, I really get it now. Louder and clearer.