I bought a new pair of shoes for Tuck.  He loves them.  They’ll carry him swiftly down the soccer field on many a Saturday morning this spring.

And the next day, we argued because the morning routine was snagged on an unpacked lunchbox and backpack and silliness and lateness.

In a quieter moment, we made up before he got out of the car to begin another day of first grade.

Hellos and goodbyes matter much to me, and I can’t send my children into school with harsh words in the air; I can’t do it any easier than I can finish a day in an argument, or close the car door on an unfinished sentence, or greet someone I love without smiling, or continue a business call when my loves will come out of school at any moment. First impressions and parting words matter.  Every time.

It matters.  Even when we know each other well.  Perhaps, then especially.

He leaned into me.  “Mommy, sometimes when you’re mad at me, I look down at my shoes.  And I think that I like them more than I like you.  Even though I know that’s not true.  I still think it.”

Sweet boy with a conscience like fresh snow.

“I understand that, Tuck.  Sometimes we get confused when we’re upset, and we can forget what we love the most.”

I ruffled his hair and gave him a fist bump before he headed up the sidewalk.  I wondered how many times I’ve said the same thing to God in words far less pure, less clear.

God, if I’m honest, sometimes I think I like what you’ve given me much more than I like you.

I’m sorry about that.

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