I got home tonight exhausted. And boys were clearly at their wits end as well. As soon as I got home, we had to rush off to pick up our share of CSA vegetables, and then get back home to take the dog for a walk. I made the mistake of asking 3yo J if he could walk all the way around the block tonight without crying, and he assured me that yes, he would walk. S, aged 5yo, warned me that I really should take the stroller, but I wanted to take J at his word, and trusted that he would live up to my expectations – silly me!! About one block into the walk he was insisting that he was “too tired to walk, and please carry me!”, which, given the state of my back these days, I refused, and coaxed him along with a laser pointer and mini-flashlight attached to my keychain. S kept provoking his little brother, in that annoying way that older sibs (and I count myself in that number) will annoy their younger sibs, just for amusement and displaying their power and sophistication.
We finally got home, all completely exhausted, and a bit irritable with each other, especially since it had been a cool evening, and we were a bit chilled. The boys helped me make some hot cocoa, and they sat sipping it while I warmed up dinner. We ate, changed into pajamas, and before J’s choice of book was read, he was fast asleep. S stayed up to read several stories, and then we opened up “The Bedtime Sh’ma” book by Sarah Gershman, a lovely gift from our dear friend Pam Gorin, which we have made into a nightly last read before kisses and sometimes lullabies (mostly for J’s benefit). S often refuses to pay attention to the reading of this book – at first, he was proud of knowing all the words by heart, and then he decided that it was beneath him, and he would “read” other books while whichever parent was doing bedtime would read the Sh’ma book.
But, this evening, he listened patiently, and even participated in reciting the Sh’ma when we got to that page. But, what impressed me most was that, on the first page, which starts with
“What have I done today?
Did I hurt someone else? I ask forgiveness.
Did someone hurt me? I try to forgive.”
S turned to me and said, “I’m sorry for being naughty, and you should say you’re sorry for being angry” – which I did, of course. And he kissed me, and I kissed him, and he went peacefully to sleep. The kid has amazing moments of insight!