"Have A Good Night's Sleep. Tomorrow's Another Big Day."

So the other day was glorious. Sweltering hot for our city near the ocean, but breezy and comfortable on the boulevard overlooking the harbor. I took my niece and nephew and my own three children out for ice cream at dusk and we walked along the boulevard as night fell. The kids marveled at the ocean at night, the boats passing through the cut under the draw bridge, the eerie light on the fisherman statue. Nighttime is a whole new adventure for young children and they eat it up like a dollar bag of penny candy. The cousins laughed and ran around in circles, climbed statues, met dogs and generally played as kids are wont to do.

My 3-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son held my hands as we walked back to the car. Out of the still, my daughter looked up to me and said "I love my life." My heart almost burst. My son quickly added "Me too." It was one of those very rare moments when I felt like a successful parent.

Fast forward to yesterday: I asked my 7-year-old if he really did like his life. He looked at me in his very serious way, thought for a moment and then answered in the affirmative. Waiting a moment, he added, "but sometimes I do get sad." I didn't press him further at that moment for an explanation, but my mind raced a bit as to what might be making him sad. He is a worrier and definitely creates stress for himself. A true middle child, he regularly takes on the troubles facing his older brother and younger sister in order to lighten their load and to "make peace." He worries that his toys might get picked up by the vacuum cleaner, he worries that he won't finish his extra work for school. He reminds everyone when they forget a matter and can find almost anything any of us lose.

This evening, he sat quietly reading in the other room, while I read news on my laptop. I called to him - "hey, buddy, what is it that makes you sad." Almost immediately, he came to my side holding an open Calvin and Hobbes book and asked me if I would read it to him. I thought it was a coincidence, that he had ignored my question, was feeling lazy and was simply looking for me to read to him. He is a good reader, but isn't terribly confident in his ability. He offered me the page pictured above. I read it to him, and completely understood his message.

A little while later, I heard him reading it to himself out loud. Didn't miss a word.

Point, most definitely, made.