“Do you think that you will ever forgive me?” He said it in a very small voice. “I see how upset you are. I never thought the day would end like this.”
I have never allowed my kids to watch the news. The world is so messy, and I just don’t want them to know about it yet. So I give my mother stern looks and snatch her remote control if the news happens to be on when we arrive unannounced. I change the radio station if they start to talk about Lindsey Lohan’s latest arrest and then I send scolding tweets to deejays for talking about anything remotely interesting before I have personally dropped my kids off at school. I turn over magazines with war stories on the covers. As a result, I generally have no idea what is happening in the world. As another result, my kids still think that Winnie the Pooh has scary parts.
So, I’m not sure why I didn’t see what was happening the other day when Cypress almost ruined the 5:00 news. You see, we are Cub Scout people, and tiger cubs get to visit a TV news station on their way to earning the illustrious “wolf” patch. (I’m probably getting my terminology all wrong here but I’m too lazy to go downstairs and look in the little handbook.)
I asked a friend who happens to be a newscaster if he could help us, and he put together the coolest tour for these little people-a tour that would culminate in a LIVE viewing of the news. It was to be a very special experience. But my little person was already on edge. I, and anyone else within 40 yards, can tell when my boy is pissy. And because I am very smart, I like to arrange special things like this at 5:00 on Fridays. You know, the time that adults start drinking. Because they are on edge, too. Probably because they are depressed about what’s on the news.
Anyway, before the actual broadcast, I overheard him arguing a little with the boys. There was an aerial image onscreen, not overly graphic, of a body that had been found. Cy was determined that the person was sleeping. The other boys, of course, were right. The person was dead.
Now here’s the thing-as soon as I heard that conversation, my mommy bat senses started pinging. But here’s the other thing-Cy is not always easy. It’s important to him to be right. To feel in control. Some people might call this bossiness. They are totally right. So, that trait always worries (bugs) me and there at the news station, I ignored my bat senses in favor of being bugged.
SO-when he started saying (quietly at first) “I want to go home” and then telling me that he didn’t want to listen, DURING the actual newscast, where you are supposed to be completely silent, I clapped my hand over his mouth, gave him the armpit death grip maneuver, and got him the hell out of that studio.
And then I gave him the big what-for, complete with finger shaking. I kicked him out of cub scouts. I sold him to the gypsies. I had visions of him being arrested for disorderly conduct.
I just couldn’t believe that he had been so disrespectful of my friend’s request that they stay silent.
Later that night, when we were finally alone, that’s when he said, in the quiet voice, the small, scared melt-your-heart voice, “it was scary mommy. There was a dead person on the screen. And then they were talking about diagnosis. And sickness. I’m sorry. I wanted to go home. Do you think you’ll ever forgive me? I never thought the day would end like this.”
We have a lot of things to work on, my unmoving Cy and I. Even though I wish he had behaved the right way in the moment, I’m really very proud of his soft heart. I’m thinking with some time, he’ll learn to keep his big ‘ole feelings in check. I hope so, because the only mugshot I want to see on the 5:00 news is Justin Bieber’s.