That mysterious time before bed

My seven-year-old son plays it pretty close to the vest.  He’s king of the monosyllabic response:

Me:  Hey buddy, how was your day?

Alex:  Good.

Me:  What did you do at recess?

Alex:  Tag.

Me:  Sounds fun.  Tell me a little about your day?

Alex:  Later?

He was feeling particularly chatty that day, as I recall.  Now, I know better.  I know it’s highly unlikely that they’ll talk when you want them to, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.

Last night, I was looking forward to a bath and an early bedtime.  I ducked into Alex’s room, tucked in his covers, strategically molding around the Garfield book in which he’d buried his nose.  I kissed his forehead, whispered good-night and headed for the door.

“Mom?  Can I ask you something?”

I whispered good-bye to Me Time.  “Anything.”

“There’s this kid at school.  He used to be nice, you know, nice to everyone, but now he’s kind of mean.“

“Hmm.  Do you think maybe he had a bad day?”

“No,” he said.  “It’s like he’s a different person.  He’s just mean now.  He calls people names all the time.  Do people really change like that?”

I know the boy, he’s big for his age and typically friendly and he has a learning disability.  Alex confided that the other kids have been teasing him lately.  I called in Dad and we all talked it through.

I’m so grateful I didn’t miss that moment.

There are times when I do.  Sometimes I’m rushed and distracted, and I can get my priorities out of whack with the best of them.  But last night I got it right, and I want to remember…if we are willing to meet them where they are, the floodgates will eventually open.

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7 thoughts on “That mysterious time before bed

  1. Experienced Tutors May 14, 2013 at 5:44 pm Reply

    What a lovely post.

  2. Jonathan Caswell May 14, 2013 at 5:52 pm Reply

    Glad you caught it! 🙂

  3. The Water Bearer May 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm Reply

    Really nice post. Well done Mum. Blessings to you!

  4. Deodatta Shenai-Khatkhate May 21, 2013 at 5:27 am Reply

    Very well-written post Being June – as always!

    I have nominated you for three special awards, and you can see the details at the link http://dshenai.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/nominating-10-brilliant-bloggers-for-3-awesome-awards/.

    Congratulations on well deserved nominations, and hope that you will accept these awards. Thanks a million in advance. -Deo

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