When They’re Watching…but Not the Television

Sam and his Dad
Sam and his Dad

My son, Sam, sat with me on the couch for a really long time today.  We were watching television and it wasn’t a talking sponge or a kid with fairy god parents.  No, I had on a documentary about the 101st Airborne’s Easy Company during World War II.

But it turns out Sam wasn’t watching the television.

Sam was watching me, which is something I hadn’t noticed until roughly an hour into the documentary.  I thought maybe the explosions and black & white film and stories of Nazi aggression had piqued his interest.  It should come as no surprise that I wasn’t feeling well today when you see that it took me an hour to realize that my son wasn’t really watching the documentary.

No, at a certain point, when I wasn’t feeling well and laid down on the couch after Sam had gotten up and moved to another room that I realized he was sitting next to me to make sure I was okay.  He didn’t want to ask and he didn’t want to say anything.  He just wanted to make sure.  After I laid down and started to fitfully take a nap I heard him go outside with his siblings.  Sam had gone out with the other two kids to go out and take the leaf piles I’d raked this morning and put them in the cans.  Noah was already putting the leaves in the can, he was helping.  When they started to argue he forcefully said “Guys!  Dad doesn’t feel very good.  Be quiet!”

Normally I’d have smiled and nodded off but something about his force of vocal tone made me sit up.  I simply had a sore throat, likely from allergies and likely just because I’d been sleeping in fits and starts.  So I got up and looked out to see Sam standing in the yard waste container tamping down leaves while the other two dumped leaves on his head.

I went into the kitchen, took out my baking cookbook, and made an oatmeal brownie I’d never made before, just so they’d have a treat for today.

I often pride myself on being observant and doing what I can to help the kids along.  Sometimes . . . they need to remind me . . . they’re just as observant as I am, and I need to realize the things I do affect them as well.

So we all had brownies and milk after a day of jumping in the leaves.  After all that . . . things couldn’t have been better.

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