Recently, each time we pass someone; neighbors, burly maintenance men, teen-aged girls going home from the bus, H has one phrase for them. 'You're Beautiful!' The reaction has been fairly universal; the recipient of the compliment smiles and says thank you. That should be a source of pride for me, right?
So, why, after the second or third week of this have I started telling H, 'You know, you don't have to say that to everyone.' Perhaps it's because he's said it to the same neighbor about 400 times now. Or that sometimes, there's a look of confusion before the comprehension of what he said clicks in, or just that I don't want to have the weird kid who gushes compliments to strangers...
When I broached the subject with him, saying that maybe he doesn't have to say that every time we pass someone, he countered with; 'But everyone always says thank you.' You're right, they do. And, maybe, it's the only time somebody will have someone else say that to them, and maybe he really is able to see the beauty in everyone.
What is wrong with me that after four years of drilling into his head to use kind words, I'm suddenly trying to add caveats to the rules? I have to tell you, the first couple times it was sweet, but now it just feels awkward.
Yet another parenting moment when you just have to get over the way you feel about something, because in the end, he really is just saying something nice. Isn't that what I've been asking him to do all along?