“You kids need to go to bed NOW,” I hollered from the bottom of the stairs.

It was shortly after 9 p.m., past my eight-year-old twins’ bedtime, and fast approaching mine.

“But Mom, I REALLY need you,” Casey pleaded, his voice earnest and tender in just the piercing way that wears me down (which he knows).

Not wanting to prolong this stairway scene and further excite his sister, I trudged upstairs, a little impatiently, and sat beside him in the dark of his room.

“Mom,” he said, “I’ve been thinking about making friends.”

Before I’d even begun to process a response in my tired stupor, suddenly, he sits up, flicks on his bedside lamp, grabs a pen and small white pad, and begins to write “10 Ways to Make Friends by Mom and Me.”

“So, tell me, how do you do it?” he asks, looking at me with those irresistible tootsie-brown eyes. At once I understand that this is one of those teachable moments so I give him a few suggestions, milking the opportunity to offer welcome parental guidance.  But then he takes off, content to write strategy after strategy, oblivious to his mother staring over his notepad in quiet wonder.

In his own words (and spelling), here’s the list:

1. Say yes!

2. Be kind.

3. Be honost.

4. Be tough.

5. Believe in your self.

6. Trust.

7. Try new things.

8. Say nice things.

9. Have allot of play dates.

10. Ask to be incluudied.

The end. From Mom and Me.

Well now..the kid might not be too coordinated on the playing field, but he’s got soul, and a lot of it.

Again and again, it’s my son who proves to be the wisest of teachers.   I’m so glad that I veered from routine to listen to him: you never know when inspiration strikes and someone’s soul comes calling.

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