Sunday, September 10, 2017

Displays of Affection

My Sam.

He's six.  He's into Super Mario, creative Minecraft, and Lego. He's shy, doesn't like to be noticed or singled out, and wants to make movies when he grows up.  He's a good helper, he's funny and brave and independent, and has a current fierce resistance to all displays of affection.  We do our goodbye hugs and kisses before we leave the house (preferably when the other kids aren't watching), because there's no way he's giving me one at the bus stop!

Last week I was changing a poopy Pascal, and found that I couldn't keep his own hands away from the mess.  So I asked Sam to come and hold his hands.  Poop and hand-holding are pretty high up on Sam's refusal list, but he came over quickly and helped me out.  "Don't worry Pascal," he comforted, "I know how you feel. You want to move your hands. It's okay. It will be over soon." And it struck me then as a really sweet, mature thing to say.

Today we drove up to Ottawa to go to the beach, and ran into a bad patch of traffic. The kids were being really rowdy and I gave them a stern warning to stop roughhousing because they were disturbing me and making it hard to drive safely. They kept it down for about sixty seconds before Sam decided to grab Kachi's head and shake it from side to side, yelling something for sound-effects. 

I reached back and smacked his arm away from Kachi and yelled, "stop it now!"

There was a chorus of quiet sorries, and they sat pretty quietly til the traffic eased.

I tipped the rear-view mirror to catch Sam's eye. "I'm sorry," I said, "I shouldn't have smacked you. That was wrong, and I'm sorry I did it. Will you forgive me?"

"Yeah. I know how you feel," he nodded. "Sometimes I just get so mad at Vivian, like when she walks in front of my Mario, and I hit her before I remember I shouldn't. I forgive you."

And my beautiful son just holds out his heart and his bouquet of grace like it's no big deal and the day rolls on.

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