We weren’t late to piano, but we had decided to walk the three blocks to “Auntie” Barb’s house, and I thought D and I should get started. D tends to get distracted by dandelions and house construction and making friends along the way.
He and I were outside. Colin had gone back in for something, and I said something to the effect of “Let’s get going.”
D looked at me. “Is Colin going to ride his bike?”
“No,” I said. “I think he’s walking with us.”
D stopped. He put his ever-less-little hand in mind. He looked up at me and in a gentle voice said, “We should wait for him. That would be the polite thing to do.”
Which was more important in that moment? Admitting he was right or painstakingly explaining that he is a poky walker and that Colin would catch up.
In the end I went for a simple, “Yes, of course, you’re right.” And stopped and waited. Colin came right out. He would have caught up, but what was more important in the moment for Colin? The message that you need to learn to catch up or that your brother will always wait for you (even when you rarely wait for him)?
D won an important victory for all of us in that little wait, but in a short while he had a major disappointment. As we arrived at the door on the way back, he blew the last of a dandelion puff and said, “We should have gotten some dandelions at the flower store when we bought flowers for outside.”
“They can be fun, can’t they?” I began. “Unfortuately the store doesn’t sell them. Most people consider them weeds.”
I wish I had a photo of his face.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him his father has the lawn sprayed.