Mama's feeling all kinds of "I suck".
What's the best way to rectify it, and to find out what the children need?
Ask, of course.
"Trev. Are you happy? Are there kids that are happier than you, do you think?"
"What do those happy kids get or have that you don't?"
No help there. His answers were candy, computer games, and jumping on the trampoline.
The conversation carries on this vein for quite a while. Happier? Free? Loved?
Still no help.
"Trev. What does it mean to you to live happy life? What are the things that make you happy?"
Holds up his fingers to count them.
"Honor. Family. Tradition."
His mother tried to contain her family-inherited smile (think Bob Newhart).
"Where did you hear that?" (knowing full well he didn't get that from me.)
"What's the honor?"
Points to his mama. Smart boy.
"Do you know what honor means?"
His mother burst out laughing. "Do you know what tradition means?"
"No!" he exclaims with a laugh.
Mama shakes her head. "Go away! Love you."
No help there.
Blasted happy, unhelpful kids.