Today the family played Settlers of Catan. It's a fun game, but for some strange reason, we have a hard time playing it and staying friends. Nathan was most frustrated with the outcome, and expressed his desire to throw the game away, "because it always makes people mad." Almost I started into a lecture about how the game cannot "make" you angry, but you choose to be angry. And yet, I knew that Nathan didn't need a lecture. He's heard that particular one many times.
I sat down on the sofa, and patted the seat next to me. My tall, gangly boy came and snuggled up next to me, and we just sat there together for awhile; my arm around his bony little body and his head nestled under my chin. I closed my eyes, and then it hit me - this boy is ten years old. In a year or maybe less, he may decide he is too old to be comforted by a hug from his mother. I held him closer, told him I loved him, and we talked of little silly things and laughed a little. And then fell quiet. It was so comfortable that I drifted off to sleep, and when I woke up, instead of a boy under my arm, there was a cat. I smiled.
Sometimes lectures just won't do. Sometimes all we need is a little love.