Photo: Justifying Jane

This kid right here hasn’t had the greatest start to the school year. We’re only on week two, and I’ve already conferenced with the teacher and principal. He’s done a few things wrong and then had some backlash come his way that no 8-year-old boy on the planet deserves.

For the past three days, I’ve sat outside the school at 3:00 p.m. biting my nails and straining to see him walk out the door. I wanna see what his face looks like, so I can gauge what the day has done to him. When we got home yesterday I resumed my usual line of questioning: ”What happened today?”, “Did anyone say mean things?”, “Did you say mean things?”, “Did anyone play with you today?”, “How are you feeling? Are you okay?”

And at some point yesterday in the middle of bombarding him, I saw this look on his face that said, “I need you to stop.” And so, I did. And then I decided that sometimes our little humans need the same things we need: they need space. And 20 minutes of silence. And their favorite snacks laid out next to a warm bath.

I think sometimes these are the things that speak love to our children louder than our voices. He was calm for the rest of the night. And this morning when I dropped him off I looked him straight in the face and said, “You got this.” And he said, “Yeah….but if I don’t, will you make me another bath tonight?” And I said “Always.”