Feed on


My mom used to say that part of parenting required blind faith. You tell your kids the same things over and over and over and over, while they often as not seem to ignore you, and hope to live to see the day when some of that advice or direction sticks.

I got an early payoff yesterday. I was downstairs hanging laundry on the line when Simon came into the unfinished part of the basement with a play-sized basketball. About the same time I called out “Be careful!”, Simon called out “Oh no!” as he dropped the ball and watched it roll into our sump pump. Yuck.

I wasn’t mad, but I wasn’t excited about ball rescue either. “Oh, man. This is not going to be fun,” I mumbled, “and that’s why I don’t like you coming into this part of the basement.”

Mind you, I wasn’t mad. It was an accident, and he just wanted to keep me company. But what came next surprised me, because Simon sometimes (often?) struggles with apologies when he’s done something wrong. More than once an act of mild disobedience has ballooned into a major drama over his reluctance to apologize and our insistence that he do so. This time I wasn’t asking for or expecting an apology. I was just griping out loud when Simon quickly and sincerely offered this:

“I’m sorry, Mommy. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing. I’ll be more careful and won’t do that again. I’m really sorry.”

Did I hear that right? Was that a whole sentence, a demonstration of contrition, and an understanding of the source of wrongdoing? Wow! Maybe,  just maybe, some of what I’m saying really is sinking in. And maybe, but not likely, he can repeat this feat the next time I demand an apology from him. The jig is up, Simon: I know you can do it.

2 Responses to “Absorption”

  1. Amanda says:

    Growing up–it happens!

  2. blg says:

    The jig is up…love it!

    For a good discussion of listening to your mother and how it relates to healthcare:

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