Curt
Jun 20, 2016

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It is 9:00 p.m. on a Monday night. Curt is so tired and worn out from the day that he isn’t making sense. He gets this way sometimes. It is a 10 year old fit, really, but feels more like an argument.

Curt: “Why does Adam get to stay up and I don’t?

Me: Because you have swim team in the morning.

“Why do I have to go to swim team?”

Curt, because it is good exercise and gives you something to do.”

“Did you think it would be fun for me?”

Well, I was hoping…
(interrupting me.) “It isn’t. Why do I have to go tomorrow?”

Curt, you are tired. Let’s go to sleep.

“Exactly! Swim team is so exhausting! What good does it do?”

Because it also helps you build good memories of summer activities…

(interrupting) “You didn’t ask me if I wanted to be on swim team! Why didn’t you ask me? Why do you force me to be on swim team?”

(I’ve already had it. He obviously wants to argue and no matter what I say he is going to be mad. When it gets to this point, I have learned from mistakes to just leave the room and let him cry or be mad by himself, so I tell him I love him and leave the room. You are probably wondering why I let him even get this far. I think I stuck with the “conversation” because I want Curt to feel respected. I want to help him understand life, but nothing is going to get through his adorable head tonight.)

(He is crying and hitting his pillow.)

(2 minutes later he comes in MY room.) “Mom, I NEED answers and I don’t want to fall asleep crying.”

(I don’t say anything, because that would be useless, and beacon him to sit with me in the rocking chair. We rock. I think about how unfair his life must seem to him. He has forgotten though that Adam did summer team for years and had summer school this year, but his term is already over. I have told my kids over and over that life isn’t fair, but that isn’t very comforting for me either.)

(After a couple of minutes of sniffles, I invite him to climb into my lap. Even though he is 10 years old it feels so good to cuddle with him across my lap. Oh how I loved cradling my babies in my arms and rocking them. This feels really really nice.)

“Mom, I still need some answers.”

Son, I will give you answers, but I will not argue with you.

“Okay, Mom. Why do I have to take swim team?

Because it is good exercise and gives you something to do in the summer. What else do you want to know?

“Why does Adam get to stay up longer than me?

Because he doesn’t have to wake up as early as you tomorrow and he is older than you are. What else?

“I love you, Mom.”

I love you too, Son.

(We rock for a long time. Finally I walk with him to his bunk bed. I give him one more kiss and say, “I love you” one more time.)

“I love you too, Mom.”