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“Hi Meggie,” I ask, “How was your day?”
“It was fun!” she screams. We giggle.
“What did you go?”
“I played with my friend Malaysia..,” she paused.
“What do you play with Malaysia?” I ask.
“We colored pictures,” she thinks to herself for a second, “and she likes the color green and I like the color purple. Purple is my favorite color, but I can’t color the grass purple, only green. But Malaysia, can color the grass green…” and the conversation sprouts from that point onward.

Megan is still pretty young – four and a half to be exact. I make it a point to talk with Megan, just chat. Of course, there’s the “You should do this. And, don’t do that,” as a parent, but I still chat with her. Basically, ask her how her day is going, how (pre) school was, what she did, maybe tell me a story about what happened while she was playing with her friends. One would be amazed about what a child’s stories holds along with their imagination – it’s quite incredible actually. One of the benefits is that this progresses a child’s communication skills and another obvious benefit is that this helps foster a great relationship with one’s child. She often just tells me how things are with her, what she is thinking, and how she feels about specific events. After all, we all need someone to talk to.

Also sometimes, the favor is unexpectedly, gratefully returned.

Sometimes, I don’t have quite a great day at work. One day in particular, it was just downright horrible. But these particular days come and go. I know this, but still, it’s just downright crappy to go through one of them.

I have been moping around the house for most of the night. My mood is somber and more or less, I’m not really focusing on what is in front of me, but instead, just mentally festering over what had happened during the day – just feeling a little beat up. The evening quiets and I start to chat with her a little bit more.

   “Hi Meggie,” I ask, “What are you doing? Coloring a picture?”
   “Yes. I like this very much,” She thinks to herself for a second, “But you look sad…Daddy are you sad?”
   “Yes Megan,” I answer, “Daddy is a little sad.”
   “Don’t be sad Daddy… What happened?”
   “Hmm… Oh, Daddy just had a hard day at work,” I answer.
   “Did you get to color? Your favorite color is blue,” she asked.
   “Yes, you’re right.  My favorite color is blue. But… Well, I didn’t get to play with my friends too much today.”
   “Someone doesn’t want to be your friend?”
   “It’s a little bit different.  Well, sometimes friends don’t get along too well.”
   Megan thinks to herself for a second and responds, “That’s okay,” she says, “Sometimes, friends are like that. It’s Okay Daddy. You will be fine.” Megan reaches out and brushes the side of my hair with her palm as to calm me down, “It’s okay Daddy. Don’t worry. Things will be okay. You will see.”
   I couldn’t help but smile a little. She really does warm my heart.
   Then unexpectedly, Megan reaches out with her two thumbs, places them in the corners of my mouth, and pulls upward to form a smile, “That’s it Daddy.  Smile.  See?  Be happy.  Ah, that’s good.”

Mmm, crayon flavored smiles.

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