Just a Very Bad Day

Growing up I loved the book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst.  I relished the very idea that some other kid was having a worse day than I was and I longed to visit the mysterious land of Australia.

Today my older son got off the school bus wishing he could send someone to Australia.  The tears he had been holding back came gushing out as we walked down the driveway in silence.  Someone had ripped his school work and pushed him around.  He was devastated and I was heartbroken for him.  I wanted to make it right for him.  I had so much advise to give but I held back and listened.  There is no way he would ever believe that I was a kid once and experienced this stuff too.  I decided to take him out for lunch at McDonalds.  There is nothing like a happy meal to lighten anyone’s spirits.

It was just the two of us out to lunch about to dig into our happy meals but unfortunately the “Shrek Watch” happy meal prize my boy received was not the “Monster Truck” advertised on the poster and the tears started again.  “At breakfast Anthony found a Corvette Sting Ray car kit in his breakfast cereal box and Nick found a Junior Undercover Agent code ring in his breakfast cereal box but in my breakfast cereal box all I found was breakfast cereal.” The book just captures it so well.

When we got home I suggested that he wash his face and hands and brush his teeth.  “Let’s have a fresh start to the afternoon,” I said, “then we can read some books together.”  In the process his toothpaste fell off his toothbrush and he fell off his step stool then the dog tripped him on the way to the couch – more tears.  “My bath was too hot, I got soap in my eyes, my marble went down the drain, and I had to wear my railroad-train pajamas.  I hate my railroad-train pajamas.” This page triggered something in my sad boy’s soul.  Maybe Alexander IS having a worse day than he is.  He started to giggle which turned into a heart warming belly laugh.  Things were looking up.  Thank you Judith Viorst for getting it so right!