Tonight my son came downstairs after bedtime. This isn’t uncommon. I figured he wanted a drink or a snack even after last call. But tonight was different. He walked up to me and asked if he could go to Granny and Poppas in the morning. I gave him the usual ‘we’ll see’ and continued with what I was doing. Annoyed that he was downstairs past his bedtime I stopped what I was doing and asked him what he wanted. “I just want to go to Granny and Poppas and start a new life!” My heart sank. His little eyes were welling up and his voice was shaking. I paused then told him he’d be leaving mommy and daddy and asked if that was ok… He said yes and again said he just wanted to start a new life. Now he went on to tell me that the reason was his brothers were mean to him. One interrupted him and the other wouldn’t let him play a certain game. Seems silly to an adult I suppose but to that six year old he wanted to have a whole new life without us in it. I chose my words carefully, I didn’t laugh it off, I told him he was an important part of this family and we would miss him terribly if he ever left. I told him I’d talk to his brothers in the morning about what they had done and then I let him play some game on his iPad for 30 minutes while his brothers fell asleep because nothing mattered in that moment but to make him happy and to make him forget why he wanted to leave us.

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