"Worst week ever, EVER?" I asked.
"Ever." he said.
"Of your entire life?"
Oh boy. He's only 12 and it's only Wednesday.
So on the way home he told me about this and about that. There wasn't one specific thing, just a bunch of little things that, when added together, did indeed make it seem like the worst week EVER.
And in listening to him, I realized I had forgotten how rough these middle school years can be. It's a messy, confusing time. A time in which sometimes kids need to figure things out by themselves.
Joe and I have always said that one of the hardest things about parenting is finding the wisdom (and courage) to step back and allow our sons to work things out on their own. Our son had a bad day, I knew that, but I also knew there was nothing I could do to fix the problem. Offer words of encouragement? Yes, of course. Try to make him laugh? Sure. Pray? Yes, often and sometimes desperately.
But fix the problem? No, not all the time.
So I listened to him, gave him some advice, told a corny joke, and assured him that things always look better the next day.
Then we stopped at McDonald's because, you know, sometimes French fries help, too.