Over the years, I have heard numerous stories about “my kids” home lives. On a few of those occasions, I probably would have preferred not to hear what a few of the children opted to share with me, though I feel both privileged and honored that the children bear that level of comfort with me. At times, however, I am not prepared to hear some of the things that our children offer up, and occasionally, I am at a loss for how to respond. I find myself grasping for some brilliant piece of wisdom or a comforting piece of advice to offer the child, sometimes even stifling a laugh, all while attempting to keep my emotions, feelings, and opinions out of the equation.
Our children are watching us, they are listening to us, and they are telling on us. If you have ever wondered, as a parent, weather or not your children are paying attention to what we are doing or saying, wonder no more. This next story gives a vivid depiction of how closely they are watching what we do and say. It will demonstrate just how deeply they are affected by our words and actions. It may even give you an indication of how much our children are willing to reveal to the listening ear of someone they trust.
I always enjoy hearing about what my students do over the weekend. Particularly any weekend after a special event has taken place like Halloween.
One of my second grade students was giving me an account of how he spent his weekend. “I had the such a great weekend.” he told me.
“Wonderful!” I said, “Tell me all about it,”
“I went to SkyZone and went trick-or-treating; I played outside and rode my bike. There was one really bad part though,” He told me.
“Really? What was that,” I asked.
“My mom got drunk,” he said.
“Are you sure?” I asked. ” Perhaps she was just sleeping,” I replied. I tried to quell his theory and give mom the benefit of the doubt, but he was strong in his convictions.
“Nope,” he said. She was drunk. She had too much beer and wine.”
I was not quite sure how to respond and waited to see if he had anything else to add. He continued to share the accounts of what transpired over the weekend.”I tried to tackle her,” he said.
I was not sure I heard him correctly and asked him to repeat what he said. “I tried to tackle her.” He said again.
“Why did you try to tackle your mom?” I asked him.
“I wanted to knock the normal back into her,” was his reply.
I told him it did not work that way and he told me he knew that, but he said he needed to try.
Oh, what a phrase! It is one that I will use from this day forward. Aside from the unintentional humorous aspect of what he said, there was also wisdom and sadness. I am sure all of us know someone who would benefit from having the normal knocked back into them.
I chose to share this story, in hopes of opening up a dialogue between drivers and parents, realizing that most drivers, are parents themselves. I would really like to hear from other drivers, to find out how they handle these types of situations when they arise, and from any parents, who might be willing to offer their opinions or suggestions as well.