December 16, 2007

Saying Yes & Manipulation

I'm feeling better! I got a little worse and gradually I've been getting better. Our guests have arrived and we're really enjoying each other's company. Jerry and I are brushing up on our Spanish--my friend's seven-year-old daughter is a wonderful tutor! Today we went to the Hollywood Farmer's Market and were so tired when it was all over we had to come home and take a nap. (They've all been sick, too.)

I actually started this next part of the post a week or so ago and promptly forgot about it. So, I thought I'd include it today, since I don't have much to report. Here it is:

A few weeks ago Jerry was going to spend the day at the Elves' Faire at his old school, the Waldorf school. He looks forward to this event all year and the highlight, for him, is a "war." For the past few years the boys in his class and some of the younger ones would buy wooden swords at the Faire and run around the campus in teams battling each other.

This year Jerry had made a sword in the wood shop at sleep away camp and was really looking forward to using it. The sword was made from a 2x4, was about five feet long and weighed at least ten pounds--possibly more. He was so proud of it.

I had pretty much determined there was no way I was going to let him bring that sword to the Faire. I didn't even think they'd let him in with it, quite honestly. But, the day came and I'd been working on saying yes, so before pronouncing my decision I stopped and thought about how important the sword was to Jerry and whether or not there was any way he might be able to take it to the Faire.

Aside from my worries about him not getting in with the sword, I didn't think there was any way he could carry it around all day, let alone wield it in battle. But I stopped to think about whether or not there might be a way for him to get his way and figured if he really could carry it all day there was no reason why he couldn't take it.

Now here's where this scenario felt a bit manipulative to me. I knew there was no way he could carry it around. It's huge. But I suggested that for the day before the Faire he take it everywhere and if he was comfortable carrying it around it would be okay to take it to the Faire. And I meant it. Five minutes hadn't passed before he came to the conclusion that it would be best to leave the sword at home. So I felt good that I had let him make his own choice, but I felt like I led him to it.

Was I being manipulative? Or do I just know my son? It seems like there was kind of a fine line there. I don't know....

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