Tonight was one of those nights that are just fun. We agreed to have dinner with our neighbors on a whim. We splurged and dropped the kids in hourly care that looks more like an indoor amusement park than a babysitting service. Good company, good food, happy and carefree.
On the way home we gather our children. Hubs actually goes inside and let’s me stay in the car. At that point, the mood of the evening shifted. B is infatuated with the candy jar at the checkout counter. The candy is there on the honor system. Take one and leave a few cents behind. Tonight he asked his father for two. He was told he may have one. B decided one extra wouldn’t be noticed and took two anyway, sliding one inside his jacket as he turned away from the counter. Dad saw the whole thing and B is busted.
We know kids make mistakes. We even remember some of our own. I remember stealing a pair of Barbie shoes from my neighbor, Sultana. At the time I justified it by telling myself that she had many, many pairs of Barbie shoes and that because I had a little sister I was forced to share Barbies with, I had mismatched, chewed on, Barbie shoes. I wasnt caught but I have felt guilty about those shoes for years! Tonight my son made the same decision his mother, and almost anyone else who has ever been 8 has made. He made the wrong choice based only on his wants.
After a silent car ride home my husband took B into his room. I could hear the conversation through the door. B was being punished for refusing to obey his father, but more importantly, my husband was quietly explaining that he was being punished because he did not act with honor. He told his son that it was important to learn these lessons now so that someday when he is a man he will know in his heart how to make the right decisions. Men, behave with honor. Even when no one is looking. While it seems like such a small thing, a piece of candy, the lesson is one we never outgrow. I chose to leave this conversation to father and son. I heard my husband tell his son that he is loved. We are proud of him. And that the most important thing we can do is learn from our mistakes.