Feira da Afonsina

conversations with hank


Hank: (clinging to me at Feira da Afonsina, our town’s Renaissance Fair)

Me: (With a group of friends trying to socialize) Com licença, amigos (excuse me, friends) Hank, come with me over here. (finding a quiet spot) Every year, Hank… Every single year! You were fine a minute ago. What’s up with you?

Hank: I don’t know.

Me: Are you thirsty?

Hank: I don’t know.

Me: Hungry?

Hank: Mama, I don’t know. Please. Really, I don’t want food. (latched to my legs, panicked)

Me: (taking a breath, getting on his level)

Me: Ok, I hear you. I am sorry I was annoyed. Since you cannot tell me why you are suddenly so upset I will be the parent and make the decisions for you, but I need you to also do your best and trust me. I want you to sit here in this quiet spot and take some deep breaths while I go and get you a cold drink. Then I will tell our friends we need to go and get some food.

Hank: But…

Me: Henrique, you told me you don’t know what is wrong. If you don’t know then you have to let me help you. You have to trust me.

Hank: (on the verge of tears, nodding)

(45 minutes later seated at a long table surrounded by friends, Hank comes up from behind me to give me a huge hug)

Me: (leaning into the hug, soaking it in)

Hank: (whipsers) Thank you, mama. You are my best, mama. You knew what I needed and now I feel fine.

Me: (turning around and giving him a big hug back) Thank you for letting me help you. I am so glad you are better.

Hank: I love you.

Me: I love you, too. Now, go have fun! Afonsina is only once a year.

Hank: (dashing off, wooden sword drawn, a brave little knight)