Thursday, September 5, 2013

Johnny Letter #21

Dear Johnny,

Tonight you had your first real taste of Bad Decisions.  Before this you made a few, let's be honest.  But tonight you made one that I can call yours.  You were big enough to know better, and smart enough to understand suffering the consequences.

It wasn't a terrible awful very bad decision.  It was just a run-of-the-mill, make-Mama-real-mad bad decision.  You didn't throw your sister down the stairs or anything.  You just decided to use Mama's lipstick to decorate her favorite and very expensive chair (read: prized possession) and paint her kitchen table with orange nail polish.

This is what I get for having thoughts.  Because yesterday I saw that lipstick laying there and had the audacity to think to myself, "I am so glad I have a kid who doesn't mess with my stuff.  He could totally do some damage with that thing, but it's been there for three days and 'nada'."  Same for the new nail polish I brought home over the weekend.  Ooops.  There I go thinking.  I go downstairs to change over laundry and apparently I took too long because you decided to punish me.  And I had to give you a consequence for your actions.  A whole night of NO TV.  You'd have thought I pulled out your arm hairs one by one.

All in all, though, it worked out okay.  The good news is, you hate when we're upset.  You CARE.  And that's what matters.  You know you screwed up, you own your mistake, and you took your punishment, albeit with a good amount of tears.  Most of the tears, I think were due to your distress over having disappointed us, but let's be fair: the no TV thing was a real killer.

You are hard to punish.  You are so sweet, and so despondent, and you kept asking "ARE YOU HAPPY? MAMA, ARE YOU HAPPY?"  You so hated to have made me and your father upset.  It made me love you more and more and for the first time, I sent you to your room.  That part is what really killed you.  You went, and you stayed while I cleaned up the mess and when I beckoned you out, you'd have thought your Elmo doll had been ripped from limb to limb, how sad you were.

This is very good news, son.  You are a sensitive soul, one who feels EVERYTHING and knows that feeling bad? Not good.  You want happiness and light and dang if you don't just bring it with you everywhere you go.  I am so glad I don't have to punish you for being mean to friends or not sharing with your sister.  Those things, general niceness and love, come easily to you.  The occasional soiled chair or mess is nothing.  I would trade a million beautiful chairs for your sweet nature.  You care about people.  You care about who is a good guy and who is saying nice words and who is your BEST FRIEND FOREVER (which is, in a word, EVERYONE).

Son, you are a treasure.  You turned four and had two parties and rocked them both.  You LOVE each present, no matter if it's a $4 box of playdough I got you or a rockin' car track set from a grandparent.  It's all YOUR FAVORITE and you've spent days recounting who was here and who brought what and thanking them over and over to me and your dad.  I wish it was your birthday every day, for it is so fun.

A minion cake and a rousing round of "Happy birthday to you" is all it takes to delight you into speechlessness.  Oh, to be four.  To be Johnny Stuke and four? Even better.

You are our pride, our joy, and our every twinge of happiness.

All my love,