Nick wasn’t a morning person. I can respect that. And relate. His brother and sister woke on their own, often before my husband or I wished. But Nick usually had to be roused. His response was often startling, as this precious five year old snuggled up in bed transformed into a tiny monster with fire in his eyes and fury in his mouth.
But this morning was different.
His brother Victor had forgotten to do his homework the night before, and so I ventured into the boys’ room to try my hand at convincing Victor to finish up before school. Much to my surprise, Nick decided to help his brother. So all three of us trod down to the kitchen. Words of support and encouragement I’d never heard before poured out of little Nick’s mouth as his brother fought to finish his math.
A little stunned to hear Nick cheer “You can do it, bro!” I quickly piped in, not only affirming Victor’s efforts, but also this newfound kindness pouring out of my typical morning grouch.
After about 10 minutes we headed back to the bedroom so the boys could get dressed. Victor jumped into his clothes and plopped down to play Legos. Meanwhile, Nick wanted help.
I sat down beside him. His hands immediately grabbed my shoulders, as he balanced his teetering body, putting each foot into its appropriate pant leg. Our faces only inches apart, his sweet eyes met mine and he offered the best compliment he had.
“Mommy,” he whispered, “you’re a mother. Not a motherfucker.”