Wednesday, October 30, 2013


My son's teacher got sick during school so a sub was brought in.  When I picked him up this afternoon, the substitute asked me, "Oh, he's yours! Could I please take him home with me?"  She said this with a sigh and conspiratorial look that showed that she had not had the easiest of days with this class.  My heart swelled, and I picked him up, holding him close.  I answered, "He is pretty wonderful isn't he?"

Tonight at bedtime after we finished reading aloud the last two chapters of Ramona the Brave, I picked him up again to tell him how happy I felt when the sub said this because it sounded like he had been a help to her.  He nodded and told me how he got more points than anyone, even the kids who normally get more than he does.  He showed a quiet and slightly shy pride at having done the right thing at school and being commended by a teacher. 

I thought back to his rough transition into kindergarten last year and asked him if he remembered an incident on the second day of school with one of his best friends, an incident that got him in a little bit of trouble but that revealed what a tough time he had those first few weeks.  He nodded, but tried to downplay it.  Because he has changed so much since that time last year, I thought it was safe to tease him.  It wasn't.  He angrily dropped out of my arms and started to cry.

I took him into the other room away from his sister where he cried and told me I embarrassed him.  I tried to explain that I thought it was safe to tease him but that I was wrong and could he forgive me?  Seeing him cry in embarrassment was the last thing I'd wanted to do.  I'd hoped to build him up after his very good day with a substitute but instead I'd done the opposite.

This is the worst feeling as a parent, not when others hurt your child but when you yourself do it.  I'm so glad he agreed to forgive me.

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