Cameron sat on my lap, sobbing. At first it was just because he wanted to play with Grace, and for the first time ever I said, “No. Tonight is not a night for playing with Grace, you and I need to talk, and spend the evening at home.” Then I mentioned Friday, and the tone of the sobs changed. He did not want to talk about Friday.
“I can’t think of Friday, Mama, I’ve forgotten, I don’t remember.”
Okay, I started with show and tell. Did he get to do show and tell? “No, that’s right, I remember you telling me that. You said you didn’t know why. Do you remember now?”
I waited. More tears. He wanted to play with Grace. “We’re not talking about playing with Grace right now. We’re talking about Friday. Maybe no show and tell had something to do with your afternoon walk. Care to tell me about that?”
He didn’t remember, he said.
“Whose hand were you holding?”
“MMmm. So you do remember. Do you remember Miss B talking to you, asking you to stop doing something? What was that? Why?”
It took some time, but he eventually admitted, he’d been goofing around, and had gone close to the road.
“She warned you, I’m told. But you wouldn’t stop, and just got more out of control. So she said you had to hold her hand, right?”
“And did you?”
He shook his head, and again tried to change the subject to playing with Grace.
“What did you do?”
He finally mumbled that he kicked her. And yelled at her.
Wow. This was only the start to our conversation this evening. But it was a good start. I’d considered just not writing tonight – after all it’s not like I’m posting on a regular basis lately. But it doesn’t feel right to just post about the sweet, happy moments. We’re real people here. Shit happens.
I now know for sure that when he says he doesn’t remember, he probably does. He uses it as an easy-out, an “I don’t want to think, Mama.” And of course, as an avoidance method to keep from having to talk about stuff he doesn’t wish to discuss.
The conversation gave me a chance to discuss lying, as well. He lied about something small, and inconsequential compared with the kicking stuff. So I got to show him that I was angry and hurt when he lied to me, but when he fessed up, things were okay. I wasn’t angry at the truth.
I made a point of cuddling him when he needed it, but not letting him use kisses and hugs as avoidance. He heard many times that I love him, that nothing will change this. I told him that I know that when Joanne takes him to art class he’s a little gentleman, that she’s commented again and again at how wonderfully he behaves. And that I know that inside, he’s a sweet and caring boy, and that I’m concerned and worried at some things he’s been doing lately, because they aren’t how my Cameron normally behaves.
He is also aware that he messed up, and that this could mean trouble for him at his dojo. They’ve got strict rules about this sort of thing, and all the kids know it. When I mentioned what Sensei might say, his little face crumpled up. He managed to get out between sobs that he doesn’t want to stop karate, that he really likes it, oh please Mama don’t tell! So I won’t. But I let him know that this was on provision that he make things right, and never ever does this again. Karate is for defending himself, not for hurting people he loves, not for using just because he didn’t get his own way.
“So Cameron, what could you do to make this right?”
It didn’t take much for him to come up with making a card for Miss B to say he was sorry. And I was impressed with the work that he put into it. I wrote out what he wanted to say (Miss B, I’m sorry, love Cameron), and he carefully copied it out. While I set up something fun for us to do afterward, he drew a beautiful picture on the front of the card. Colourful flowers, with lines weaving above them to illustrate the scent. And beside them walk two figures, one tall, one short, holding hands.