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Checklist

My son has made a few bad choices at school recently. He admitted that the choice that got him in the most trouble was the one he made to make sure his buddies would still like him, even when this hurt someone else’s feelings. And then yesterday, a kid handed him a figurative bag of poop and he said sure I’ll hold it and got caught holding it. Told him he needed to see it coming and run the other way.

As I put my child to bed last night, I explained my job as a Mommy was to make sure everything was good in his world.  There was a checklist I had to go over…he interrupts, “I’m ready, ask me the checklist”. OK, I begin.

Are you challenged enough at school? Are you interested and not bored with what they are teaching? He says that he’s good there.

Does he feel challenged outside of school? Does he have enough activities, exercise, play-dates, and stimulus outside of school? He’s emphatic that he does.

I ask him if he likes himself. Does he like who he is when he’s at school and at home or in the world? He says sometimes he doesn’t and sometimes he does. Know that feeling.

And I ask him if he feels like his parents love him? Do we hug him enough and tell him we’re proud of him enough? He says yes.

My kid is pretty honest. I really do trust that he’s telling me the truth and it’s apparent that he trusts us enough to tell us his truth. I do keep waiting to see if he’ll try pulling something over on us. I feel like that might be inevitable. But I don’t want to create it by expecting it.

Were we to be as honest with ourselves and the ones we love about these subjects, how different our lives. To not sacrifice our own happiness for the sake of others’. Once we misstep, we shortchange every one of the truth and the love, respect, and honesty that goes along with the truth.

Last night, as every night, I said, “I love you very much.” He said, “I love you too.” And I heard him get up later to get himself the extra “Cars” security blanket he needed to fall asleep.

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