Teen Girl had had a rough day, as often happens for teen girls in middle school.
At dinner, each of us — Dad, Mom, and Tween Brother — did our best to help her feel better from the trials of her day, but the meal ended with Teen Girl in tears, dramatically fleeing from the table in favor of a flounce on her bed.
After awhile I went up to simply abide with her. I laid facing her with my hand on her shoulder, saying nothing but breathing oh-so-slightly visibly, audibly — a human prompt. Dad soon joined us, positioning himself as an appropriate metaphor about family always having each other’s back. Dexter, never one to be left out of a group hug, hopped up on the bed, too, tail wagging and adding in his special kind of soothing influence.
A few moments later, Tween Brother came in, shattering our efforts to calm Teen Girl with his obnoxious iPod, which we all heard coming up the stairs. I started to shush and shoo him. Couldn’t he see we were in the Middle of Something and weren’t in the mood for blaring Bruno Mars?
Luckily I’m not super slow (only slightly slow), and in a flash it clicked that his iPod selection wasn’t random, and his presence with his iPod was anything but careless. Rather, it was full of care. Tween Brother joined our family pile and began singing to his sister in his endearing, off-key voice.
♪, ♫ Cause you’re amazing…just the way you are ♪, ♫
Dad and I joined in the chorus, the three of us serenading Teen Girl with gusto if not with mad vocal skillz:
♪ When we see your face ♫
♫ There’s not a thing that we would change ♪
♪ Cause you’re amazing ♫
♫ Just the way you are ♪
Even our Teen Girl couldn’t stay moody through all that.
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Don’t forget to sign up for the Finding Zoe virtual book club. Can’t beat a good book and great discussion about it.
Image: “Mike” Michael L. Baird [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons