(I decided to write again after months of hibernation. I do miss writing from the heart. Feels good to be back)
My son is in the 4th grade now or we call it Primary 4 here in Malaysia. He's still 9 years old as his birthday is in December. As of any 9 year old, he can be quite a handful. Last Monday, for one, he refused to go to school. It was one of those days when the Dad wasn't around to nudge him to get ready for school. Normally when Dad did it, he was prompt to response. So I had to try my best to cajole him: I spoke to him gently, and failed. I bribed him, and still failed. I pleaded with him, yet it did nothing. And finally, when the frustration level grew higher, I pulled him off the bed. It was then 6am, which meant if I didn't make a move sooner, the kids would never make it to school on time. The two big sisters were already complaining unhappily about how late it was, dreading the teachers' penalty if they were late to the assembly. So in the end...I had to leave my son at home grudgingly.
When I sent the sisters home from school at noon, I didn't think of checking if my pulling had bruised him at all. Instead, still feeling annoyed, I gave him a lecture on responsibility. At night when I was sitting next to him, I suddenly saw this thumb-sized bruise on his left arm. "I did this to you this morning, didn't I?" I asked him with horror. "No, Mom", he quickly answered, not looking straight into my eyes. "Don't lie, I did, didn't I?". I was starting to panic. "No, Mom, really, I fell on some rocks the other day", he answered, still averting his eyes. "When? Did anyone see you?", when I asked him that, he flustered and quickly said, "When I was walking from school to the tuition place...no one saw me". I knew right away that he lied. He is never allowed to walk to the tuition place, close as it is from his school. If he had fallen, the teacher or his friends would have told me.
I touched the bruise gently, and rubbed some ointment on it. My boy simply said, "don't worry Mom. It doesn't hurt". I knew then that a boy will lie to spare his parents pain. Deep down I realize that no matter how cheeky and difficult my boy seems to be, he is blessed with a good heart. As for me, I learned my lesson, a seemingly harmless touch, done in anger can bruise...