You thought you were happily smiling at your child from a hard stadium seat or a hot packed auditorium, but your child looked at your face and saw approval of him and joy in what he was doing.
You thought that you were just patting him on the back or on the head, or just ruffling his hair, but your child cherished the warm loving touch and his heart was brightened.
You thought you were reading a bedtime story with all the funny and scary voices, but your child enjoyed the fact you read every word even though he had heard them a hundred times before.
You thought you were letting your child help paint the house even though the paint got kind of runny and drippy in places, but your child knew that you were working together as a family and felt a sense of accomplishment as a family.
You thought you were singing silly songs or counting the cows on a long boring trip, but your child learned that it was fun being together no matter where you were.
You thought you were spending a few minutes of your time by throwing a ball in the backyard or baking some cookies, but your child, who realized that your time is precious, knew you were investing it in him.
You thought that you asked your child's opinion about something that wasn't too important, but your child thought you asked because his opinions and thoughts were important.
You thought you were being a good host by inviting your child's friends in for a cool snack on a warm summer day, but your child knew that his friends were important to you and always welcome in your home.
You thought the tears in your eyes went unnoticed when your child accomplished an important goal in his life, but your child knew that he was deeply imbedded in your heart and you sensed his accomplishment.
You thought that the refrigerator was as good of a place as any for hanging all the art work and "well done" papers that came home from school, But your child felt important when he came home from school each day with something to show you and tack up in his personal hall of fame.
You thought you gave your child some simple chore or job to do and told him, "Well done", with a smile when he did it, but your child learned responsibility and began to realize he could tackle even tougher things.
You thought you were helping a troubled restless child get some sleep by fixing a cup of warm milk, but your child felt that you were opening your heart around a kitchen table and making all the problems a lot smaller.
You thought the vacation wasn't much of a success because the fish didn't bite and the sun didn't shine, but your child still remembers everything that happened and still laughs at all of the funny parts.
You thought you were just pointing out the words in the church hymn book with your child's finger as he tried to sing along, but your child learned that singing praises to God in worship was important.
You thought you were just giving him a quick hug at a special moment or "just because", but your child carried it with him for a long time, because what you really said was, "I'm proud of you", or "I love you."
You thought you were just giving him a little kiss on the cheek to tell him good bye as he left for school, but your child felt warm and loved because he knew there would be another one waiting for him when he got home.
Come to think of it, there are a lot of times when parents really are misunderstood!