Yesterday, I experienced a first with Sam. It's a first I thought might be a ways off. But nope...there it was in all it's glory.
I was sitting at the computer desk and Sam hurried by me sideways with something hidden in his hand, behind his back...and he looked...guilty. He gave me that smile that every child perfects to cover fear of getting caught at something. That smile that expresses the feeling of, "Who me? I haven't done anything wrong, I'm a perfect angel."
Having never seen this particular look from my three-year-old, I quietly followed him into the bedroom where I witnessed him dropping the remains of a light-up ink pen onto my bed. I quietly whispered, "Did you break it?" He looked up at me innocently and said, "Yes, I'm sorry." He looked so sad, as though his whole world was about to come down around his shoulders. Now, I know we had talked about not taking this particular pen apart (because of the multiple batteries and little pieces that could get lost), so I know he was afraid he was going to get in trouble.
But what bothered me was the fact that he was afraid to tell me. So I knelt down beside the bed next to him, picked up all the little pieces, looked him straight in the eye, and said, "You don't have to hide your mistakes from me." He still looked unsure, but said, "OK." So we put the pen back together (it no longer lights up...I suspect we lost a piece somewhere or the batteries are dead) and had a little talk about listening and following directions and not hiding things from each other. I think he got it, but I'm not sure I'm ready for this growing up business.