He didn’t notice I couldn’t play.
He didn’t see the effort it took to be there, with him, to be awake and present.
He simply said “I’m sorry you hurt” then went to his bed and brought over the little lap desk he uses for his computer. He set it up on the bed, grabbed his backpack and favorite books and settled in, saying “Let’s do my homework mommy”.
We read first, because he likes to tackle the hard part first. He read Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons and we giggled. He made up a song for the chorus, and we sang it together. At the end he read, Buttons come and buttons go, but Pete just kept singing his song. Then he turned to me and said “Pete the cat is right mom. Sometime stuff comes and sometimes it goes, but we should keep singing our song.”
After homework we put away the desk and backpack, pencils and books, and he got ready for bed.
He didn’t know how much of my day I spent feeling as though I was letting him down. He doesn’t know how easily he showed me how not to. His desire was to do his homework with me, and he built a way to do it, regardless of what limitations I had.
At bedtime he held my hand in his and I sat with him while he shifted from side to side, his poor little head still uncomfortable from his ear infection. So I took an ultra soft pillow, laid his head on it in my arms and held him until he fell asleep. I held him while he settled in, began to breathe deeply, and drifted off. His hand never let go of mine.
Buttons come and buttons go but my little guy just keeps singing his song.