I was tucking my little man into bed when he made his cheese confession.
“Mom, I forgot to tell you something.”
(Lewis, who shares pretty much every detail of his every day life with me, “forgot” to tell me something…my ears perked up immediately.)
“What’s that buddy?”
“I had to go to the principal’s office today.”
If my youngest had had previous incidents involving disobedience and disruptive behavior in school, this may have upset me a little bit. But as he is a pretty well-behaved, albeit un-Harms-ishly social six-year-old, I was more intrigued than anything.
“Why were you sent to the principal’s office?”
“Ryan couldn’t get the cheese out of his cup. You know, the cheese that the lunch ladies make? So I hit it out. And it landed on Ryan and on me and on Lexi.”
Yep. I can see my Lewis pounding on a plastic cup of cheese. I can visualize the goofy grin on his face and hear that contagious giggle that makes me want to squeeze him to pieces. I can also imagine him enjoying the attention of this little stunt a bit too much.
So much that it drew the attention of his principal.
I wonder what Lewis thought as Mr. Jimmerson approached his table. I wonder if he was embarrassed as he was forced to walk across the cafeteria alone to dump his tray. I wonder if his heart was racing when he took his seat in that room no one wants to get sent to. I guess maybe I’ll never know how it all went down.
But I do know that his guilty conscience wouldn’t let him go to sleep without confessing. Or more likely, his guilty conscience combined with thoughts of a looming parent-teacher conference. The fear of being found out seems to have a way of influencing the decision to fess up.
Whatever it was, my little man knew his best move was to confess.
Lewis has always had a way of making me smile, and tonight’s bedtime conversation was no exception.
I smiled because I knew his tender little heart really wanted his mommy to say it was okay. And I smiled because the kid is so stinking funny.
Lewis not only made me smile with his bedtime confession, but he got me thinking about accountability in adult-life.
I think we could all use a little healthy my-kindergarten-teacher-is-going-to-tell-on-me-fear like that in our lives. We need someone who isn’t afraid to ask us if we’ve done anything worth a trip to the principal’s office. And who isn’t going to just let us get away with it if we have. I know there are times I’ve tossed some stinky cheese – or maybe some unkind words or ugly thoughts- at people who didn’t ask for it.
And though I’ve never been sent to the principal’s office, I am pretty thankful for the people in my life who won’t let me get away with doing stupid stuff. And whose influence usually keeps me from doing the stupid stuff in the first place. How about you?