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I’m always on edge the nights my husband is traveling. I’ve had too many nights where my son doesn’t sleep, and I’m nervous another will follow. But luckily, he’s been a pretty good sleeper lately, although it takes a while to get him down. I can’t really complain.

He’s a champ in the morning too, which is a godsend. He doesn’t fight me on getting ready, and when it’s time to go, he’s so excited to go to school. I always make a point to use ‘positive parenting’ by praising good behavior when I see it, rather than criticize bad. It makes a huge difference.

We got to school today, and after dropping off his coat in his cubby, he stopped me at the door to his class and wouldn’t let me enter. His expression was that of “I got this!” and he looked up expectantly for a kiss before heading off to greet his friends.

Today, he found his little buddy, the girl in his class who’s blind in one eye. She got new glasses, and as I stood in the doorway making sure he was okay, he ran up to her, said good morning, and sat down next to her. The affection they have for each other is so pure, and real, and it’s just more than my heart can bear sometimes.

I know there will come a day when he’ll approach a group of his peers and they may not greet him so warmly. It breaks my heart to know this gentle spirit of his may not always get the reception it deserves. I want to hold him like this for as long as I can, the unmarred love of a child, the unfettered optimism, the pure joy, and the unwavering acceptance. He’s a better person than I’ll ever be. And I’m just so proud.