cobe tells us that he’s not our best friend anymore. or worse, that he’ll never ever ever be our best friend. ever again. and when he says this, he’s usually on the edge of tears, his face twitching, his cheeks red.

he means it.

but then he calms down. the anger evaporates a little and leaves sadness behind. he asks us if we still love him. because why else would we take a toy away or send him to his room if we did in fact still love him?

and as all this is going on, i’m usually yelling. my face gets tight, my eyes get big. my whole body is screaming. at the ripe age of thirty one, i can actually feel my blood pressure rising. i’m pissed. i’m exhausted. and i just want everyone to shut up.

but then i calm down. the anger evaporates a little and leaves sadness behind. i ask myself, will he still love me if i stick to my guns? when i go in there and sit on the edge of his bed, will he let me hug him?

but that magical thing called unconditional love kicks in just as we start to question it. i walk into his room, sit down on his bed and scoop him up. he let’s me. we take turns talking and listening.

and in those moments the line of parent/child and student/teacher is blurred. we both just want to be loved and heard and we’re doing the best with what we’ve got. and that’s okay sometimes.

and i tell him just that. and he gets it.

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