The past few weeks had been tough. My mom fell and fractured her back. Although she is still in tremendous pain, she is recovering. She will be discharged on Thursday. I will return to Lancaster to spend a couple of days with her.

Last night my heart ached once again after finding out my oldest son broke my trust once again. Since we banned him from using his iPad in the day, he snuck it into his bedroom to use at night. For a very long time, he didn’t want to sleep alone. Now he just wants to sleep by himself so he could do things behind us.

When asked if he played during the night, he denied. Unfortunately, the evidence was right on his iPad. I gave him an opportunity to come clean, but he didn’t and that broke my heart and trust. I increased his ban for two months and that when all hell broke loose. He claimed that no one loved him or cared about him. He hated his life. He hated me. I made his life miserable. My eleven-year-old boy is no longer a kid. He is breaking out of my space. He told me to get out of his room and he didn’t want to see me anymore. That was a wake up call for me.

Later on when we both calmed down, I came back into his room. I asked him if he meant what he said. Fortunately, he said no. He was just angry. I gave him a hug and he held on to me tight. I told him I have never stopped loving him. I apologized that I made his life miserable. I asked if I could sleep with him. He held my arm and rubbed my skin like he used to do when he was a kid.

I watched him sleep and thought about our relationships. The lockdown has been tough on all of us, particularly on him. During weekdays, my wife and I have to work; therefore, we simply can’t do much with them. Even on weekends, we have nowhere to go. When they weren’t using their screen time, they were biking, playing water, or creating LEGOS. Then they would get bored.

I decided to make a change in our relationship. I wanted to try a less strict approach, especially in sibling rivalry. I wanted to show more caring and less yelling. I went to sleep tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. I woke up the next day and decided to start fresh. I woke up the kids and drove them to buy some Einstein bagels. To my surprise, my oldest son wanted to come along. After that he played nicely with his younger brothers. He didn’t make them mad. They watched TV and played military games. They built bases and stations. The younger kids loved it when the oldest brother made up games and let them participate.

At bedtime, I thanked him for his amazing behavior. I don’t know how long it will last, but I am grateful. I will do my part to make our relationship better. I hope this will be a new start for us.