I just left Thad in his bed with his rainforest noises on and a “dogpile” of cute stuffed animals beside him–a Webkinz dog, a Webkinz tree frog, two Webkinz penguins, a blue-eyed sea turtle, and Curious George. He likes for me to read to him (I sit in the hallway so both kids can hear me–their doors face each other) and also do what we call “Five Good Things.” We tell each other five good things about our day. This is something I’ve only done with Thad. It began one night when he was having a hard time, so I told him when we are sad, we need to list good things to remember that we are happy most of the time–even on bad days. Sometimes I have to help him out a little bit–or a lot. I’ve had more practice at learning how to “count my blessings.” Hopefully he will pass this little exercise on to one of his kiddos one day–or at least continue it himself.
Sometimes there are unusual things–like him getting a new bike today. He has NEVER had a new bike. And any ride-able item he’s owned (except for his Big Wheel which he outgrew five years ago) has either been handed down or plucked from the “take for free” pile on a neighbor’s curb. The bike he’s been riding was not only too short but also popped a tire the other night–it’s previous owner now being a freshman in high school, I’m sure the bike had already been ridden enough. He has never complained. . .but he is now the proud owner of a blue bike with enough gears to boggle the mind. He can’t wait to learn to shift ’em.
Sometimes the good things are small surprises like getting a Nutella & Go in his lunch kit. Victoria got one too. If ONE gets a “big ticket” item in their lunch–the other one does as well. Our “big ticket” items also include fortune cookies from time to time. It’s the little things, you know. And that is why Victoria ALSO got croutons for her crunchy lunch item. Today was a special day for her–District Science Fair judging. We go tomorrow at 10:00 to see if she made regionals.
Sometimes Thad’s five good things are simple. “I’m home.” “I’m in my warm bed.” “You are scratching my back.” Again–little things, but oh so important.
His list tonight was:
5. I found the secret artifacts in my Indiana Jones “Top Secret” boxes (He’s had the boxes since he turned seven–they came with some action figures. The boxes look like tiny props, when REALLY there is a bag tucked inside with a “secret artifact.” His buddy, Thomas, told him about it earlier this week, and he “happened” across the boxes this morning while brushing his teeth. Hmmm. . .either way, he was thrilled, and they ARE cool artifacts.)
4. It’s Friday. (VERY important.)
3. I got Nutella and bread sticks in my lunch today.
2. I got a new bike.
1. We got to have bar-be-cue for supper tonight. (We get our bar-be-cue from the gas station at FM 362 and Hwy 290. Just wipe that look RIGHT off your face. . .gas station bar-be-cue is THE BEST, and County Line’s is the best of the best of gas stations. For reals. This one also made my list.)
MY list was:
5. I got to take you and sister to school this morning. (This was on his original list, but he deferred to the bar-be-cue when I mentioned it in mine.)
4. I made another reading guide today.
3. I got an e-mail from my friend, MaryLinda. (Hi, MaryLinda.)
2. We got to have bar-be-cue for dinner.
1. I get to be with you and Daddy and sister all weekend.
There are nights I don’t feel like reading or doing Five Good Things. I want to go find some nice black hole that is shaped like my bed and crawl into it. But I try to AT LEAST do the good things–I know my days of Thad wanting me to lie in his bed and chat quietly before going to sleep are numbered. The other morning between sleeping and waking, I had this dream/image/vision/premonition in which I heard his voice had changed. It was no longer the little boy voice I hear now–but a teenaged boy voice. Quite honestly, it scared me. It was NOT something I was happy to think about. But it’s a reminder that my days as the Number One Girl in his life are, indeed, numbered–and dwindling.
Meanwhile, my regular Friday night date went and climbed into the black hole of a bed of ours at 8:15. I think I will go and join him.