Yesterday was a tough day for my boy Jake. Not only did his report card show up, but he also had basketball after school, and he didn't get the game he wanted from Block Buster. (The report card was okay, but okay doesn't always work with me - I didn't get on him - just my standard - you can do better).
Of course I knew he was a bit glum when he sat down to watch television with me at about 7:30, his face a mask of despair.
Still, since I'm the happiness-maker, I tried to just fake him through it.
"Hey buddy, what's going on?" I asked.
Jake shook me off and looked at the ice cream cone he was holding.
"You can tell me," I said.
"Well," he said, choosing his words carefully, "I've just been disappointed by some things lately."
It was such an innocent statement - one that can only be truly spoken by children that it kind of tore a hole through me as he said it. I wasn't right there with my "suck it up and tough it out speech" instead, I was speechless.
No one ever wants to hear one of their children ever say they are disappointed, right? Not even if it seems to be a bit trivial.
Yet Jake couldn't even finish his thought because he was too upset. He just left it hanging there.
"I've just been disappointed by some things lately."
There were so many things I could have said to help him talk his way through it.
I debated telling him that life is a shit sandwich and that you're better off just eating the bread.
I could have explained that this too shall pass,and that the sun will come up tomorrow.
I could have jumped off the couch and tried to solve his problems one at a time for him.
Instead, I let it stand.
Yeah, life is disappointing sometimes. There isn't any getting around it. Sometimes there are moments when the disappointments come one after another.
Yet, about an hour later, we were all laughing hard at Sam's response to a couple of questions on his reading comprehension test. (Sam got a 91 on the test, but he completely butchered two answers and it was quite comical).
I'm sure that Jake was still feeling a little disappointed, but the hard laugh brought him around and gave him the reason to believe that things could go better for him perhaps tomorrow.
I certainly hope he has a perfect day today.
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