I. considers this. “Why, ‘You’re welcome’?”
Hum. Good question. Because that’s what my mom taught me to say? To be honest, I’ve never really thought about it. It’s reflexive. It’s automatic. I know he wants a better reason. Nothing makes you feel like you’re making it up than having to explain something to your child.
“It’s a way of acknowledging and accepting someone’s thanks.” Could it really be this easy? Oh, no. He’s not done.
“But why say that and not something else?”
I try a different tactic since I have no solid answer to his question. Nobody can tell me I didn’t learn a thing or two working in politics. Deflect. Deflect. Deflect.
“Using nice words like please, thank you and you’re welcome show people that you care about them, their feelings and how you treat them. It’s a way to show kindness with words.” How’s that for answering without answering?
He nods his head in understanding.
I. knows words wound. Last year two boys in his class teased him about his stuttering. For weeks, he’d cry himself to sleep, angry he couldn’t change the way he talks.
He also knows words have the capacity to heal. Many nights we’d talk well past his bedtime about all the reasons his speech doesn’t define him. He’s a great friend, a caring brother, a kind son.