Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cousin Secrets

Will ran to the store.  Everyone else from the birthday party had left.  I was busy giving Katie's four-year-old twin cousins a bath.  Katie and her eight year old cousin J were horsing around in the living room, relishing their lack of adult supervision.

Not that they needed it.  J is wise beyond his years.

Their gymnastics halted.  Katie evidently didn't realize I could hear them.  She said, in a quiet voice, "I want to tell you a secret, J."

"OK."  J said.  I couldn't see him but I know he shrugged his shoulders the way he does when he says OK.

"Sometimes I still sleep with my mommy and daddy at night."  Katie's voice was still quiet and very serious for someone who just turned six that day.

"Why is that a secret?" J asked, sounding slightly annoyed that the secret wasn't very juicy.

"Because," Katie paused.  I wondered myself how she would answer this question.  What's the big deal?  I slept in bed with my sisters until I was twelve.

"Because," she continued.  "Other kids sleep in their own beds."

"That's OK." J reassured Katie.  "Kids your age have nightmares and get scared a lot and they need their moms and dads.  When you're a big kid like me you will feel fine in your own bed."

Eight years old and he's already more empathetic than many grownups I know.  I love that kid.