A couple nights ago I was in the kitchen getting dinner together, the girls were sitting at the table and Nyla turned around and looked at me and said, "I hate you." She had a little smirk on her face. I asked, "What did you say?" "I hate you" she said again.
I know she doesn't understand what she's saying. She's three. She's trying out words and seeing what they look like to her and seeing our reaction. I didn't overreact. I told her we don't use that word because it isn't nice. Then I turned around toward the counter and began to cry. That word from my precious, loving three-year-old. How can she already know that word?
I went upstairs and immediately hit my knees and prayed for her and for me. How do I handle this? How can I explain how hurtful that word is to me and to others?
The last thing I wanted to do was talk to her or even look at her. She cut me deep with one simple phrase. I know she doesn't know what it means but that doesn't make it any less painful to me. I never thought I'd hear, "I hate you" from my three-year-old, not this soon in our walk together.
Daniel sent her to her room after all this so we were both in our rooms crying. Like I said, the last thing I wanted to do was talk to her but I felt God pulling me to go in her room and hold her. He extends grace to me every single day and I knew I needed to extend the same to her. Forgive her. Love her. Hold her. So I did.
I scooped her up and we sat in her chair and cried together. I explained in few words that hate is a hurtful word that we don't use on anyone. We speak of love in our home not of hate. She told me she was sorry and we cried some more together.
While this isn't something I want to experience again, I'm sure I will. And just as I did, I'll extend grace and love, just as Christ does for me.