Me: "So, did your friends have much to say about the sad news?"
Aaron: "A few did. Not much, really."
Me: "Okay. So, how are YOU doing?"
Aaron: (pauses, sighs) "Honestly, Mom... and I know this is going to sound strange... but I actually feel like, since Dr. Bowe's passing, I've been happier at school than I've ever been before."
(he braces himself for my reaction)
Me: (pausing... pondering) "You know what? I think I know what you mean."
Aaron: "You do?"
Me: "Yeah. You're not glad Dr. Bowe is dead. We all miss him. But since this happened, everyone at school is being very warm and loving to one another ... teachers and students are sharing their hearts with each other, like really talking and showing their true selves ... people are hugging... those things make us feel good inside. Really good. Happy might not be the word, but I understand what you mean."
Aaron: "Yeah, ... like that."
Me: "You know what?"
Me: "You (kiss) are VERY (kiss) wise."
Aaron (crooked grin): "Thanks Mom."
Talk with your kids.
Not for what you think they should think or feel.
But for what they actually DO.