Richard Foster informed despairing parents,
“A dear friend of mine, Lymon James is a radio disc jockey. On the radio he’s called “Rhymin’ Lymon.” Lymon has a son, Zachary. One afternoon when Zachary was three years old, Lymon decided to take Zach on an outing. They went for some walks and visited some shops.
But it was one of those days, when nothing seems to go right. Zachary was fussing and fuming. Lymon tried everything. He tried to discipline him, and that didn’t work. He tried to bribe him: he gave him candy, and that didn’t work. He did somesaults in the park, and that definitely didn’t work. Lymon was a renowned radio genius, but the 3 year old was winning the battle. Lymon felt deflated. The boy wouldn’t be distracted and kept whining and sniffling for no obvious reason.
Lymon was just about ready to give up on the outing when, maybe under some special inspiration, he just scooped up his son Zachary and held him close to his chest, and he started to sing to him, a love song. But he just made it up. The words didn’t rhyme and he sang off key, but he tried to share his love with his son.
He’d sing, “I love you, Zach. I like to play ball with you. It’s fun to see you smile.” Things like that. And Zachary began to calm down, and put his head on his father’s shoulder. They went from the park to the store and to other places while Lymon kept singing with words that didn’t rhyme and were sung off key, and Zachary kept listening to this strange and exotic song. Finally, when they were done with the afternoon and went back to the car, Lymon was putting Zachary into the car seat. Zach lifted up his head and said, “Sing it to me again, Daddy. Sing it to me again.”
Sometimes we all need loving parenting. How can we give love even in the midst of dismal discouragement? To keep a positive perspective sometimes a parent needs the parenting of a family counselor. Maybe the love ditty has a dissonant tune but it’s a unique song affirming that we are part of this amazing universe. There is a love song for you and for me if we stop fussing and listen.