Lessons for the Heart

by Cate on March 12, 2013

UntitledThis boy.

This boy can start the morning off like no other.

He is, self-admittedly, not a morning person.

The only problem is that he doesn’t live alone. So Madeline and I bite our tongue, head down, and go about our business, in an effort to get us all out of the house on time to make school busses, morning prayers, and work.

Yesterday morning he was particularly mouthy. And it’s something I won’t stand for. There is no wiggle room. There is no debate. It doesn’t fly. Period.

And I did the one thing that has the biggest affect on him. I took away his phone.

He pleaded. And I stood firm. I do not waver on mouthiness.  And he knows that.

I don’t care if you’re not a morning person.

We had words at the bus stop.

When the bus came, he turned towards me and said a quiet “bye,” instead of the usual fierce hug and “love you.”

And that instantly tugged at my heart. He wasn’t happy with me, I get that, and I hated started the morning off like that. But his sister and I shouldn’t have to walk on egg shells because he doesn’t like to get up early. And I won’t. He doesn’t have to hold lengthy conversations with us, he just has to peacefully co-exist with us for half an hour in the morning.


Once I got to work and got settled, I looked at his text messages. Because the rule is that I have his password and I can look. While I respect his need for privacy, he’s 10.

And as soon as I read through two text messages, all I wanted to do was to drive to his school to give him back his phone and give him a hug and tell him how much I love him.

Because those messages just reinforced what an awesome kid he is.

One conversation was with the sister of someone he used to go to school with. They had reconnected when they both ended up on the same soccer team last Fall. He asked her why she switched schools last year and she said she had been bullied. And his response to her was so kind. So sympathetic. And such the person that I know he is.

Another conversation was with someone different. And reading the conversations just made my heart sink. But oh how well he handled himself.

And this glimpse into a little bit more of him was good. Heartwarming to see how he conducts himself when I’m not around. When I’m not helping him making the decisions. When I’m not there to guide him. We can lecture and nag and enforce to the nth degree. But it is those moments when they’re left to their own devices that are the most important.

Now to just find a solution for the morning grumps…

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kris #40 March 12, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Oh poor dude! Don’t you hate punishing them?

Wait until the middle school bus next year that comes at 6:55 am. Don’t believe the card they will send you that says 7:05 am

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Cate O'Malley March 13, 2013 at 8:30 am

I know. I see the line as we’re getting ready and I am so not looking forward to that. That and being at the bus stop four times a day!
Cate O’Malley recently posted..Lessons for the Heart

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Joanne March 13, 2013 at 6:20 am

Aw poor Nick! He’s such a sweet kid, but we all have our moments. I’m sure the.boy wishes he could take my phone away from me sometimes as punishment… (you know, one specific week of the month). But seriously, you’ve done good with Nick. :)
Joanne recently posted..Recipe: Za’atar and Aleppo Pepper Roasted Potato, Bean and Swiss Chard Tacos

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Paula Ann March 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Threatening to to take away his texting devices works in our house too. I worry sometimes about how my son seems so self-centered, then he’ll do or say something that reminds me that he really does have a good heart and truly cares about others. We have high expectations and strict boundries for him. He complains often about how he can’t possibly live up to our expectations, and yet, most of the time he does! You’re raising a terrific son, Cate. Nick and I do share something in common… I’m not a morning person either!! ;)

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