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No worries, Kate. I’ve been there, too.

Anyone who’s ever parented a 4-year-old knows that moment. You’re in line at the grocery store or sitting in a pew at church or attending your husband’s grandmother’s platinum jubilee when your child starts acting out.

Maybe she’s tired. Maybe he’s hungry. Maybe she’s just been sitting still for too long. Maybe he never wanted to wear these shoes this morning—or he insisted on wearing them, but now they’re the wrong ones, and he’s not happy. And he’s going to make sure you know just how miserable he is.

Maybe there’s absolutely no reason at all, except that your child is a child, and the day is asking more of them than they’re able to give. We’ve all been there, Kate. We’ve all been the parent who’s struggling to parent with grace under pressure—in the public eye.

In your case, it felt as if the world was watching, and, in fact, we were—and we enjoyed it more than you probably know. Because anyone who has raised a 4-year-old knows what that’s like. Children can be sweet and dear and charming and polite. They can also be stubborn and opinionated and clear in expressing their emotions, especially when they’re safely around people they love.

Watching Louis give you the royal 4-year-old treatment made me smile. Because I know you can’t parent that age without having some of those experiences. And the ones you remember best just might be the ones that happen in public, the ones where you feel the eyes of the world on you, judging your parenting skills, weighing in on your child’s personality traits.

But you’re doing just fine. Louis is rocking this 4-year-old thing. And no one can criticize your parenting style.

When you think of the love of a parent, you might picture a mother or father holding a quiet, sleeping baby or bouncing a smiling toddler on their lap. But love is often a test of patience, a test of understanding. And that form of love is the love that our Father in heaven gives to us. We know how we should interact with others, and God gives us all we need. But we still act out in a thousand ways a day, separating ourselves from Him, while He continues to reach out to embrace and surround us with His love.

Deep down, each of us is 4-year-old Louis, wanting to wriggle out of our seat and run off to the nearest playground. And God is the parent who lets us fuss and argue with Him while giving us only love and grace.

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