“Can I help, Mama?”

1. Two nights before D-Day. I’d bought these new plastic rivets that promised to make the fastening of name labels onto clothing much faster/cheaper than sewing them on. (Each boy has 12 pairs of socks, for example. Yep – that’s 24 labels.)

They worked out great (🤞they stay on). But they’re pretty brutal on the fingers. The sharp remaining bit sticking out has to be snapped off by hand (I tried pliers, doesn’t work) to leave a smooth surface. Can’t use one’s nails either. It’s the soft bits of the fingertips that have to do the job.

He comes to watch me. “Can I help? Can I help? You know I love to help.”

“They’re painful, Conrad. Okok. Let’s split the work. I’ll do the first and last bits. You can stick the label on your clothes and put on the back bit. I’ll finish off.”

C, bless him, gets going. It’s past 9. He keeps yawning.

I feel sorry for him. “Go to bed. You’re tired. Thank you for helping. You are so cute.”

He doesn’t stop. “I’m okay, I’m okay Mama. I’m not tired. >yawn< You still have all of these to do!”

I sat in the car this morning, in the rain, after dropping Seraphine off at school. Thought of this boy and the tears fell afresh. Who wouldn’t?

2. He had, with great joy and pride, been awarded his “pen license” last academic year. This was a reward from school for consistently good written presentation, and it meant that he could finally have a nice Lamy fountain pen to use at school.

His brother’s lost 5 so far 😬 and while we were assembling their inventories it looked like C was going to join him in this sorry tally, as he could not find his old pencil case. This upset him.

It ended happily. He found it in the end. He came to show me the contents he assembled in his new pencil case (big brownie points for Mama from Madrid trip, having bought him Real Madrid and his brother Barcelona from the airport shop 💪).

“You know, Mama, I almost cried the other night. Because of my pen.”

“Why, Conrad?”

“Because I am a responsible boy. And the other night, when I couldn’t find it, I thought…it would be the first time I’d have lost something which I, you know, really cared about, that was special.”

For all his flaws and challenging traits (and they exist!!), there are other moments when his maturity and character just leave me…💗

3. Forgot to post this one with yesterday’s post. Blake took it upon himself to take up his brother’s school clothes in prep for the big morning. “I’m very happy about Conrad, Mama.”

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