I went to pick up my son from after-school club today. When I found him, there was one of the adult helpers, a lovely Irish lass, talking to him. His cheeks were bright red, and was obviously crying .She was saying in her gentle voice “Well I think you’re the awesomest, I really do”. Very kind, if ungrammatical.
He was as unhappy as I have ever seen him. “I’m in the dark Daddy” he said again and again, in between sobs, as he crushed his face against mine. Some of the children had built a den, and had not let him in. I heard their voices, and saw the cute face of one of his friends gleefully saying “you’re smelly, you’re garbage, get out”. Children are children, but it’s hard not to be angry when they’re saying it to your son.
“That little girl isn’t being kind Daddy” he said, “I don’t want to be her friend any more”
“Maybe she needs help being kind. So maybe she needs you to be her friend, because you’re really good at that.” I felt a bit of a traitor saying that. I wanted to say “Yes she’s a mean spiteful little thing. Thank God you’re nothing like her”. But on reflection I’m glad I didn’t.
As we walked out, he was still sobbing hard. “When I go back there,” he said, “I’m going to build a BIG den, the BIGGEST den. And I’m going to let everyone into my den, even that little girl, so no-one will have to feel as sad as I do now.”
It was then I pressed my face as hard into his as he was into mine. The Irish lassie was right. He is the awesomest.
Lest I get too soppy for words, and just to reassure you, he got out of his sadness quickly enough. About twenty minutes later he did an enormous fart and laughed so hard he was nearly sick. Like I said. The Awesomest.