Lesson 18 THE LITTLE GIRL

Kezia, the young girl, resided with her parents and her grandmother, holding a deep affection for the latter. Unfortunately, her parents, particularly her father, devoted minimal time to her, with her father being a stern disciplinarian. The atmosphere around him made Kezia uneasy, and she always felt an absence of his expressed love, often being fearful of him. This sentiment intensified when, due to her unintentional act of destroying some crucial documents of his, he responded with a severe reprimand.

A turning point occurred when her mother fell ill, necessitating both her mother and grandmother to stay in the hospital. Left alone in the house, Kezia, terrified of sleeping by herself, experienced a nightmare. In the midst of the night, she sought solace with her grandmother. In response to her distress, her father, hearing her cries, rushed to her room, embraced her, and comforted her back to sleep. It was in this moment that Kezia realized her father’s underlying love and concern for her.

SUMMARY KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Parental expressions of love vary, with some overtly demonstrating affection and others silently working towards their children’s well-being.
  • Indifference to a child’s feelings can lead to a strained parent-child relationship.
  • Striking a balance between discipline and emotional connection is crucial for healthy parent-child dynamics.
  • Open communication between parents and children fosters understanding and harmony.

NEW EXPRESSIONS

  • What did God make fathers for?: This phrase reflects an outburst of anger and dissatisfaction, highlighting Kezia’s perception that her father did not exhibit the expected love.
  • Had a big heart: Describing someone as having a big heart implies that they are generous and kind.

(a) How did Kezia begin to see her father as a human being who needed her sympathy more than the love of a child to a parent?

Kezia’s perspective on her father underwent a transformation when her mother fell ill, leading both her mother and grandmother to be hospitalized. This situation left Kezia alone in the house, vulnerable and scared. In her moment of distress, she experienced a nightmare and sought comfort from her grandmother. The fear of sleeping alone drove her to realize her own vulnerability and need for emotional support.

In this vulnerable state, her father, previously perceived as a stern and unapproachable figure, responded to her cries. Rushing to her room, he embraced her, offering reassurance and comfort. This instance marked a shift in Kezia’s perception, as she began to see her father not just as an authoritarian figure but as a human being with his own vulnerabilities and emotions.

The realization that her father could provide comfort and care in a time of need led Kezia to understand that he, too, had emotional needs and vulnerabilities. In this moment, the dynamic between them evolved, and Kezia began to see her father as someone who could benefit from her sympathy and understanding, rather than just as a distant authority figure.

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