he responds with love

About once per week, we drive to one (of three) favorite spots for some edamame (without salt), white rice (with no sesame seeds on top) and apples.  I’ve thought about asking the owner to create a standard order for my family because the order never changes (at least until now).  We sit in the same spot: next to the trash station and hydration station.  My son likes to sit tucked against the partition between the table and the trash station (phew!) and my daughter seats herself next to him.  This particular spot is a favorite because few persons enjoy sitting next to the trash station, which provides ample room for movement and noises – two very important components of eating.

On this particular visit to our eating spot, I decided to try something new.  (Admission:  I too can get “stuck” with eating the same things at restaurants.).  Rather than ordering my traditional Mean Greens meal I went with the Kalibi Bowl.  A simple switch.  A switch shared with the server during my casual order.

When the meal time convened, my kiddos dug into their sticky rice and poured gluten-free soy sauce on every kernel.  They pulled edamame beans from their pods, giggling with delight at the simple, yet pleasurable taste.   I too dug into my bowl.  I tried the new flavors of meat and the pickled ginger.  I devoured the steamed spinach.  And then I slowed down …some of the flavors just didn’t jive with me.  I picked out the remaining pieces of vegetables and then I stopped.  I just didn’t like my order.  I never said a word or made a face (to my knowledge).  Yet, my son noticed so much.

“Mom, I notice you didn’t order your Mean Greens,” he says to me.

“Yes, Bud.  I thought I’d be brave and try something new tonight,” I respond with a smile.

“Well, I can tell you don’t like it Mom.  Do you want me to order you something else?” He replies in a matter of fact way.

Do you want me to order you something else?

Do you want me to order you something else?

Do you want me to order you something else?

In this moment, I beamed a ray of light that any mom would beam if her 7-years young child retorted with, “Do you want me to order you something else?”  I cried on the inside.  I jumped high into the sky (of course in my mind).

My son took a huge step and showed me a piece of his empathic side.  He took a break from the constant movement, the repetitive noise, the day-to-day, and he noticed something about me.  He noticed that I changed my order and that I didn’t like it.  He responded with kindness.   He responded with grown-up words.  He responded with love.

On the days when I shed tears because the transitions erupted into raging meltdown and sour words, I remember moment like these.  The tender ones when my son shows me that amidst the non-verbal moments, the chaos of noises, that he does take note of the important things … like his mother’s favorite meal and whether she likes it.



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