Saying “Yes” to Lucan
One time not long ago, when he was mad at me he said he was “walking to mom’s.” I let him walk out the door. 10 minutes later I could not find him anywhere. I called 9-1-1. A police officer found him four blocks away. We met at the corner of Southworth and Center – both my son and the cop waiting for my response. All I could say was “Thank you” to the officer. I held my son’s hand the remaining streets home. I asked him if no one would have stopped him did he really think he could make it all the way to moms. He said “No.”
Life is our teacher. Experience offers us a lesson each time. I’m glad I didn’t tell him “No don’t you dare walk out that door.” I can’t both protect my boy from life and give it to him too. I won’t squeeze out the life that should be let in.
At the grocery store today, he hid in the toilet paper. I’m never sure whether to be freaked out that a predator could take him or pissed off because I know that’s my kid pushing the limits to see the other side. When I finally found him, he said, “Can I?” as if anticipating the pissed off version of me. I don’t always smile, but today I did and I said, “Yes.” He smiled too. Let me NEVER take this beautiful boy’s innocent smile away from him.
Then he tore away with abandon out of the TP imitating the character we both love and watch together, The Flash. He made it 10 or so paces before attempting a hair pin turn toward isle 13, but was side swiped by a cart being pushed by someone unaware that a 49 inch blur can suddenly appear in front of your path. He took the hit like an NFL running back but remained on his feet before screeching to a halt at an end cap aquarium of gold fish. I gave him the “dad look” but he smiled so I smiled back – shaking my head.
I give my boy a long metaphorical leash. He demands it. The space he takes to find himself is his own. He doesn’t need to always hear me say “No.” He doesn’t need a lecture or a warning. I do plenty of that as it is. If I scolded him every time I felt inclined to do so, I’d only steal what is most natural to him at this age: seeking the joy of the calling.
He needs to hear me say “Yes.” I trust my boy. I trust life. Sometimes, I force myself to trust when I tell him “Yes.” I trust that, for now, he will learn more from my “Yes’s” than he will my “No’s.”