With my cup of coffee in hand, I curled up on the sunroom chair and weeped with Paul trying his darndest to make me feel better. The tears running down my face and the sobs choking up my throat reminded me of when I was a kid.
I felt like a kid. I was hurt.
I don't think it is a bad thing to cry in front of your children. God knows they cry in front of me all the time.
So when my 7- and 10-year-old found me in tears... well... they did what I do when they cry.
They tried to comfort me.
Zayd, 10, was a little hesitant. He sat on a nearby couch and looked at me. But Ethan, 7, jumped right up on the armrest of my chair and started patting my back.
Ethan: Mom... What's wrong? Why are you crying?
What do I say? It's hard to explain. What do I say to my 7-year-old?
Me: Well... I guess... there are some people who have hurt my feelings.
Ethan: Well... remember what you and dad told us at our last family meeting? You said that if you are nice to others then they will be nice to you? Maybe you need to do that.
We had a little family "talk" a couple of weeks ago because we had four boys running amuck. Telling each other to "shut up" and "you're stupid," sassing Paul and I, and generally being brats. They needed a little realtiy check. Apparenty, our "talk" actually left an impression on Ethan.
Me: Yes. Well.. I've been trying. At least I thought I was trying. I don't know. But it doesn't seem to help much. So it makes me sad.
He sits for a minute.
Ethan: Okay. Well, maybe you need to tell them they are hurting your feelings.
Me: Yeah. I guess it's not that easy hon.
He leans over and touches one side of my face.
Ethan: Hmmm... I think you need to try to forget about them. Just wipe them from your mind.
He sounds like his dad.
Me: Okay. I'll try.
I decide that maybe I need to just go back to bed. I was up early and it wasn't helping my emotions...
So I left Paul and the boys and crawled into bed.
About 20 minutes later, Paul comes in to sit by me and talk.
...and a few moments later... Zayd walks in, throws something on the bed next to me, and walks out.
It's a lovely picture he has made in his summer art class.
Paul: I think that is to make you feel better.
Me: I guessed as much.
Then Ethan walks in, climbs into bed next to me and strokes my hair.
Ethan: Mom... you are still crying? You need to stop crying.
Me: I know. I will. I'm just tired.
Ethan: Remember what I told you? You need to stop thinking about it. You just need to relax today!
Zayd walks in again and throws another drawing on the bed and stands there.
Me: Okay. I will.
Ethan: How about you go and find something to relax you? Why don't you go and get your nails done!
We all stop and look at him.
Zayd gives out one of his little snort laughs and Paul tries to muffle a chuckle.
I get a big smile on my face and look up at my sweet little boy who looking at me as serious as can be.
I get up in bed and give him a big hug, kiss on the cheek and I hold his head in my hands.
Me: You are absolutely right, Ethan and you are such a sweet little man!
He's only seven and he already knows that there's nothing like a good manicure to take care of a bad week. God he's going to make a great partner to someone someday.