Jack, age 7, has definitely served up all sorts of challenges on my parenting plate in his lifetime, turning my whole entire idea of what a perfect parent I would be right on its ear, and of course that has turned out to be a very good thing, though it certainly didn't seem so at the time. But lately he's been almost preternaturally mature and agreeable.... it agrees with me, this having a kid working with me rather than against me. And little Bruno, 4.5, has been a real rager, pretty darn disagreeable guy for a pretty long while now (as 3-4 year olds can sometimes be, feeling as they do that it is their duty to differentiate themselves from their parents... quite healthy and natural but real and total hell to deal with at times)... but he, also, sometimes shows some really great emotional intelligence. So without further ado I share these two little conversations that made me melt the other day.
I walked out the back door to find that Bruno had opened a new bag of nice coffee beans that someone had given me as a gift and scattered them around outside. I freaked out and yelled. I really shouldn't have because as it turned out it was just a small amount that had fallen out... he was probably just curious about what was in the bag. Anyway, he was up in this little loft in the addition we are building, just crying and crying and I couldn't get to him to comfort him and he was too upset with me to come down. Jack was up there trying to comfort him and Bruno was saying, "I hate you, go away, Jack!" Jack said (to Bruno) "I love you Bruno. And even though you say you hate me, I know you love me, too." Then, to me, "I love you Kami. I'm sorry he did that." Then, to Bruno, "I'm sorry she yelled at you." Then, looking straight at me with a knowing, wise smile, "I know just how it feels."
Then, a little later:
Jack: (to Bruno) Do you still hate me?
Bruno: (starting to recover) I half hate you and I half love you.
Jack: Why do you hate me?
Bruno: I hate you because Kami yelled at me.
Jack. I know what you mean. I feel like that sometimes, too.
Good job articulating difficult, multi-layered emotions, little dudes! I am so glad to know you. And so honored to be your mama. Even if you do all call me Kami.