I had three teacher conferences this year, told at each one where my son was challenged or challenging. It was sobering, my son who has always been complimented on his self-control, manners and humor now being scrutinized for all of the above. I rained down on him, my disappointment and frustration falling in thick sheets. I doled out punishment and new expectations. Lucas, meekly, accepted it all.

I ask Lucas to do ten things a day, he does all ten without question or hesitation. He makes me laugh out loud; sometimes I am laughing at him, so is he. He relents when I demand. And he gives the warmest, hardest, sweetest hugs.

I couldn’t normalize what I was told and what I know to be true.