Monday, August 25, 2008

Know thyself

Neil might be the most forthright person I know.

He knows himself and he is honest about it. No artifice here.

When our dog Walt died last year, Jack took it HARD. A day or two later I asked Jack how he was doing and he mumbled, "Fine."

Neil looked at me and said, "I'm not fine. I'm not fine at all! My dog died, and I want him back."
Exactly what we were all feeling, but not saying. Neil wasn't crying but he wasn't going to pretend that everything was OK.

At the beginning of the year we had a discussion about "pulling a card" (the school discipline system: green card is good, yellow card means you've reached the warning  phase, orange card is almost red and red means trip to the principal and a note home to mom and dad). I think Jack has pulled two cards his entire school career -- both of which he immediately confessed and cried over.

I suspect there will be a lot of card pulling in Neil's life. I've often joked that I work so much at school to soften the teachers up for Neil.

I offered the boys a prize if they went all year without pulling a card. Jack immediately agreed. That's just easy money for him.

Neil, on the other hand, contemplated my offer. He seriously thought about it for a bit and when I prodded him, he said, "I don't think I can agree to that. It's just not possible Mom."

He's right. Why set ourselves up for failure?

This morning he didn't want to get up to take Jack to school. Jack has to be there at 7:45 a.m. Neil doesn't have to be to school until 10:15 a.m. so every morning I have to wake him up. This morning he asked if he could just stay home and sleep.

"Can you behave and not get into trouble?"

He didn't even answer. He just got in the car.

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