It was a typical morning in our house with everyone scrambling to get up, get dressed, and get out the door.

My 7-year-old was goofing around, as usual, running around in his underwear mostly and yelling things at his sister like “You’re a stupid poop!” I sighed because there’s only so much correcting I can do before I start to feel like everything coming out of my mouth is negative, so I let it go, but he heard the sigh. “I hope you don’t talk like that at school,” I said.

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And he fixed me with a huge grin, looked me in the eye, and said, “I save all my bad stuff for you, Mom.”  

I told my husband. We laughed. Because it’s clearly true. He never gets in trouble at school. His recent conference with his teacher confirmed thishe’s a good listener, a kind friend, a big helper, and a hard worker.

He’s saving his bad stuff for me.

At school he tries hard. He plays nicely. He shares. He talks kindly. He uses his manners.

He’s saving his bad stuff for me.

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What a gift it is to be your child’s safe place. For them to know they can just let it go in front of you. That any pain or frustration or anger they have been bottling all day or thinking about all night, they can release it to you. That you’ll always forgive it. That you won’t even see it sometimes.

He’s saving his bad stuff for me.

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He reminded me with his words that morning, but he reminds me often with his actions or words. The potty talk or when I have to tell him something enough times that I’m feeling frustrated and annoyed.

He’s saving his bad stuff for me.

I’m so glad he saves his bad stuff for me and spreads his goodness elsewhere.

I can deal with it because I know his heart. His heart I carried in my body for nine months, I know how true and pure it is. So when he saves the bad stuff for me and gives away all the goodness, I’m OK with it because I know it’s not really bad stuff at all.

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