anything for you and your gros bisous
Usually he yells goodnight from his bedroom, but tonight the nine-year-old boy I care for caught me at the door and planted one on my cheek.
He's a funny young thing. This week I planned an outing to see The Chronicles of Narnia at a cinema on the Champs Elysées. In the morning he was fine with the plan, but when lunch came around he was screaming and crying.
"I won't go to the cinema! I hate the cinema more than anything! You're mean! I won't go!"
It lasted hours. Soon the girl was crying too, afraid we wouldn't be able to go because of her brother's meltdown.
He was furious, shaking, and gave himself a headache. I took him in my arms and made him take deep breaths. "I'll do my best to make this a good experience," I told him, "we'll get candy before. We'll have fun."
At one point he mentioned he was afraid something in the movie would scare him. I think this was the root of the meltdown.
Eventually through humour and persuasion I got them there, armed with a bag of cookies and candies, the young girl carrying her bright pink umbrella up the Champs Elysées even though it wasn't raining.
I spent the entire two hours of the movie on the edge of my seat, afraid a scene would be too scary for him or that he would want to leave.
Afterwards we walked up the Champs Elysées under a dark sky and flurries. We walked past the tourists, past the giant glowing Louis Vuitton store, and up to meet their father.
He wouldn't admit to liking the film afterwards, but I watched his face grow engrossed with the film as we watched it.
While I was preparing dinner the father whispered to me: "He's too stubborn to admit it, but he won't stop talking about it and it's obvious he loved it!"
I was relieved that the parents were impressed with my motive to go on this outing. They saw my good intentions and thought it was a great idea.
These days my efforts feel appreciated, and after four months I feel I've finally gotten into the hang of things.
There are good days and bad days. Every day I push myself to the limit, to edge of my patience, whether I've slept the night before or not. Sometimes I want to pack my bags. Sometimes I want to pull my hair out, scream, and cry along with them.
But every day bonds go stronger. I grow stronger.
And honestly, it's all worth it for a kiss on the cheek.