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Learned the hard way

My son couldn't sleep tonight, tossing and turning. Oh, and crying. A lot of crying. My poor little tender hearted boy just can't understand some things. Math, for one. And capitilization. Those subjects just don't connect inside his mind. But that's not why he was upset tonight. In fact, if you asked him why he was upset (I did several times, even though I knew the answer) he would have replied "I don't know!"

The little man was upset because his Grandmother's dog died. She was hit by a car after she got outside the fence and ran into the road.

At first it wasn't clear if the gate was left open or if the dog found a hole and squirmed out. (I'm actually favoring option 1 because Josh said he left the gate open at first, only to later change his mind.) Either way, the puppy ran away. She liked to play this game where she ran outside the fence and when you called her name, she wouldn't come. She would turn back and look at you, her crooked teeth poking out, and kind of half-doggy-smile like "What are you gonna do about it?" And if you ran after her, she ran faster. And if you called her she just looked at you, head cocked sideways. Eventually she would allow herself to be tempted into the yard. Sometimes.

Driving home we had a conversation about consequences. It didn't start out that way. I mostly wanted to take away the guilt Josh was feeling about the maybe open-maybe not gate. Either way, the dog ran out of the yard and into the street instead of staying inside the fence. So we talked about rules, about how we make rules to protect and not to constrict. It can be hard staying inside the 'fence' and you often want to get out. But, the rules are there to protect us from the consequences of going outside the fence. It wasn't supposed to be a conversation about the bigger picture, but Josh got "IT" in a way he never has before.

Now, after a glass of milk, a hot shower, and more tears the sweet not-boy, not-man is sleeping. He still doesn't understand some things, and doesn't want to talk about some things. But then, neither do I. I guess there is still growing up to do.

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