Tuesday, October 1, 2013

One Best Thing

It started last fall.

Einstein was not adjusting well to our cross country move. 

He hated it. 

He hated Idaho.

He hated school.

He hated us for making him move.

He hated our jobs for laying us off.

He hated leaving Kansas.

He hated leaving his friends.

He hated living so far away from his grandparents.

He hated our smaller house.

He hated our unfriendly neighborhood.

He hated middle school.

He hated his classes.

Tears streamed down his face nearly every night.

And it broke my heart.

And I felt powerless.

I couldn't wave a magic wand and give him back the life he loved. 

The one we moved him away from.

I was lonely and on shaky ground myself.

But I could give him perspective.

Every night as I tucked him in, he shared each horrible detail of his day. He listed all the reasons it sucked here.

At the end I said "Tell me one best thing."

He was reluctant. How could he find anything good when he was truly miserable? 

It doesn't have to be anything major I said, just one good thing.

Did your sandwich have the perfect nutella to peanut butter ratio? Did you belt out a loud and satisfying burp after dinner? Did you open your locker on the first try?

I had to beg, force, cajole him into finding one good thing.

 And every day it became a tad easier. He shared more details. There were more good things. 

There were even BEST THINGS! He had days where he couldn't pick the BEST because there were many.

And now every night as I tuck him in he has many answers to the question that I started asking last fall.

Now I wonder if you will tell me one best thing about today?


Tomekha said...

The best thing about today so far is that I got up early and now I have some alone time to write, which I'm actually now motivated to do. :)

christina said...

absolutely awesomely wonderfully beautiful post, Robbie. thank you for sharing this.

Farrah said...

I love this. I love how it transformed in the middle and became a good news post :) YAY!!!

Tamara Camera said...

I LOVE this.
I have one, that I put on Facebook. This morning we were running late to school and I was in a terrible mood. We had to skip breakfast before we dropped my daughter off and when I put my son in his carseat, he mimed putting his hand in the snack holder of the seat, putting food in his mouth and chewing. I had to run into the house and give him some REAL snacks for his snack holder. It was so charming. Sign language at its finest. He's just over a year old but he found a way to communicate adorably.

Mamarific said...

What a great thing to do, especially right before bed. End on a good note! And the best thing about my day so far is getting to have lunch with some friends :)

Robbie K said...

Even I am surprised as how such a simple thing has such an enormous impact. Now ALL of my kids insist on doing it every night & sometimes they even ask e the best thing about my day!

Joe said...

The best thing for today? I guess the new water pump for Kellie's car could have cost more than $954.

Robbie K said...

Aww Joe that sucks! I just had alternator repaired..$550 much better than the suspected transmission issues which would have been $3000!

Christie Tate said...

The best thing about today was the glorious sunshine and the effortless moments with my kids. Great post!

Robbie K said...

Yay on both accounts! Sunshine & kids :)

Anonymous said...

We do something similar. Every night at dinner we do "likes and dislikes" (each person tells about something they liked, something they disliked, then another something they liked from their day). It seems to help balance the "glass is half-empty" tendencies of at least 50% of our household. One of my "likes" for today: Building a marble run with my four-year-old.

Robbie K said...

Love how you sandwich the dislike between 2 likes. Marble runs are a blast to build. I miss teaching pre-k!

SouthMainMuse said...

Best thing about today? Hmm. A great bike ride. It was an absolute beautiful day. We probably won't get many more like this -- then temp, etc. after a week or so. And this story about your son reminds me of my husband. He moved from Atlanta to a small town in MN when he was in 7th grade. He didn't speak to his parents for a whole year. Didn't do anything in school. They would go as a family to the high school basketball game and he would stand outside refusing to go in. He know says that move from Atlanta was the best thing that could have ever happened to him. See. Your son will think the same.

Robbie K said...

Your bike ride sounds like perfection. Thanks for sharing your husband's story. I moved in 7th grade too & though it was a struggle at times I cannot begin to imagine what my life would be like if we had stayed in Kentucky.

JannaTWrites said...

I'm glad the exercise helped him to see it wasn't all bad. We moved (by choice) earlier this year and lucked out - both kids transitioned well and my middle school son absolutely loves it.

Best thing about today? One-on-one time with my younger son. We ordered pizza and had a relaxing night.

Robbie K said...

Pizza is always good! I am amazed and a tad jealous when I hear about ppl getting one on one time with their kids. I need tips on making it work!

Natalie DeYoung said...

I love this method you use to cultivate gratitude. Sounds like a similar thing my mom tried with my bad attitude...

Anonymous said...

Several months ago I meant to tell a colleague that I admired the way she handled a situation. I was going to write her an email, but I never did. Today, I passed her on the sidewalk during my lunch break. I stopped her to say I respected her response to a difficult situation. She smiled and I think I made her day.