“I want to be different. Deal with it!”

September 14, 2009

in no manual for parenting

This came from my 6 year-old boy last night when I was putting him to bed.

“I want you to know that you are very special, and I love you very much.”

“Even if you hate me sometimes?”

Alarmed. Pause. Deep breath.

“Why do you think mommy hates you?”

“When you are mad at me and yell at me,” he said, matter-of-fact-ly.

“Oh, sweetie…” Another deep breath. Think. Think quickly. What does the parenting manual say as a proper response to this?  Oh, right. There is NONE! So we have to make it up as we go along…

“Oh, sweetie.  Even if mommy is mad at you sometimes, it does not mean that I hate you!”

Musing on this, he turned his back towards me.  After a second, which felt like an eternity (cliche alert!), he turned towards me again,

“Well.  I want to be different. Deal with it!”

A non-sequitur response.  One that made me laugh out loud and hugged him even more tightly.

“I want to be different. Deal with it!”

I have been thinking about this the whole night and this morning.

Here is a passage from Almost Moon by Alice Sebold that, together with my 6 year-old’s infinite wisdom, will be haunting me for a long time…

“I walked to the center of my front lawn and lay down, spread-eagled.  I looked up at the stars.  How did I end up in a place where doing such a thing marked you for crazy, while my neighbors dressed concrete ducks in bonnets at Easter and in striped stocking caps at Christmas but were considered sane?”


Jane September 15, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Sometimes kids know themselves better than we give them credit for. Props to you for being the kind of mom that makes him feel comfortable to talk so openly with you.
.-= Jane´s last blog ..Tunes for Tuesday – Sometime Around Midnight =-.

Absence Alternatives September 16, 2009 at 6:14 pm

@ Jane
Thank you for the kind words. I am on a guilt trip every time: sadly no airline miles for that!

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