Tucker went to school without tears. He did mention, as we were getting dressed, that sometimes at school he misses me. And he did squeeze hard on my hand, his face losing expression as we neared his classroom. But he did not cry or protest. So, I took off early and stopped by the dollar store on my way to pick the boys up in the afternoon. I bought them each a little action figure and one set of shiny silver plastic police badges to share, things they had expressed longing for the last time we passed through. When I had them all in the car I made the announcement. "Last week, I told Tucker that on the day he first went to school without crying, there would be prizes for everyone." Tucker's face lit up, "I didn't cry," he declared. "I didn't cry this day." "Yep. Today Tucker went to school without crying, so today there are prizes for everyone." I handed out the goods to squeals of joy. When Gus thanked me, I told him to thank Tucker, and he did; Tucker beaming with pride and a taste of power that didn't come from biting or kicking or screaming.
Telling: Altars & Artifacts