Advice Sucks

conversations with hank


Me: (walking into the bedroom of our friend’s children where they are playing) Okay, Okay, Okay, pessoal (folks). O que se passa (what’s up)?

Rafael: Henrique não quer jogar comigo. (Hank doesn’t want to play with me.)

Hank: (red rimmed eyes off by himself)

Me: Ok, deixe-me falar com ele por um minuto. Posso vai brincar com Amália? (Okay, leave me to speak with him for a minute. Can you go play with Molly?)

Rafael: Tá bem (Okay).

Me: Hello chicken.

Hank: (sniff, sniff)

Me: I am just now noticing that you are not having a great time.

Hank: (emotional) No, I am not. It isn’t anyone’s fault. I have been this way since I woke up. I don’t feel right. I don’t feel like me.

Me: (hand to his forehead) Physically or emotionally?

Hank: (deep breath) I feel wrong. All day, I feel like I swallowed something heavy in my stomach and I just can’t get back to happy.

Me: Oh. Do you have worries?

Hank: I do. I am worried and angry and scared and sick.

Me: (throwing an arm around his shoulders)

Hank: It’s just I thought we were leaving after lunch and then we didn’t and now we are leaving after dinner and I love Ana’s homemade pizzas but that wasn’t my plan and now I am not feeling well.

Me: Oh.

Hank: And it will take us an hour to get home and then I have homework…

Me: You said you had five minutes of homework.

Hank: I do, but I just feel all rushed and then tomorrow is swimming school and my swim bag isn’t packed and…

Me: Deep breath, young one.

Hank: (taking a deep breath) And I love my friends but I feel too bad to play anymore and they just want to play and play and play and I am not doing well at all.

Me: What a struggle. Thank you for telling me. I understand you are overwhelmed. And I have zero advice for you.

Hank: What?

Me: Nope. None. Sometimes advice sucks.

Hank: (giggling)

Me: Sometimes the best advice isn’t advice at all its honesty.

Hank: (deep breath)

Me: And honestly I have never felt the way you do now.  All I can do is listen and offer my support. All I can say is I can help you find the solutions to all of these worries and fears and anxieties, but only you can move past them. Your whole life will be navigating the rough seas of uncertainty and you have to find your best course.

Hank: Talking is helping.

Me: I’m glad.

Hank: I know it will be okay. I think I just let it all get on top of me and it was making me feel sick. Even when we were riding bikes I knew it was supposed to be fun but my mind kept making me worry and I kept thinking if we just go I will feel better but I know that is rude.

Me: You are a part of a family. The world doesn’t revolve around you alone.

Hank: (deep breath) I know.

Me: Thank you for taking to me about how you are feeling. If you hadn’t I know eventually I would have just gotten annoyed and started yelling because I didn’t understand. You’re always welcome to come and get me for a quiet moment so we can speak about things. Don’t keep it all in that is what is making you ill.

Hank: Okay.

Me: We are a team, right?

Hank: Yes.

Me: Alright, are you willing to rejoin the group? I bet we can convince Rafael to play Mario Kart for a bit.

Hank: No, I can play Mario Kart too I think.

Me: (giggling) Alright (pulling him into a hug).

Hank: (hugging me back)