At best I'm an optimistic pessimist, or maybe a pessimistic optimist, either way, it equals out. So I don't know how my son has developed into such a positive force. Maybe it's because his mom and I have always strived to give his thoughts and feelings their due importance.
Don't misunderstand. We don't negotiate every little thing. At least I don't. If it's green bean casserole for dinner, that's what it is. No begging for something else. For one thing, if it's green bean casserole, I probably don't have anything else. Besides, I add a little Tabasco and a touch of garlic and make that casserole rock, dude.
One day I made a new recipe of chicken and cabbage burritos, and I could tell by his face that the combination did not work for him. So I let him eat the chicken by itself, along with a side salad. (I think the disgusting cabbage made the salad taste better to him.)
So I keep it real for him, just like I'd treat (as I've said before) any obnoxious stranger. He deserves at least that level of respect. He is, after all, a human.
I took him to school this morning and pulled to the curb where we line up and let kids out. The principal came over and held the door for him. "Hi, Jordan," he said. "How are you today?"
Jordan steps out of the car into the 53-degree weather, big (mostly empty) backpack, shorts and aloha shirt, uncombed hair, and said as he closed the door, "GREAT!"
"What a good answer," principal Schwieterman said.
And I had to agree, though I'm not sure how it happened.