Maybe a little sorry?
The other day, I was upstairs working when I heard my wife tell the kids she was taking a nap. I waited a few minutes and then snuck downstairs to reinforce the fact that their mom was sleeping and they needed to find something quiet to do. If they needed anything, I told them, they should come upstairs and let me know.
About twenty minutes later, my oldest son started shouting. He wasn’t upset or angry, or anything like that. It was just the excited shouting of a 10-year old caught up in a game. It would have been completely acceptable if his mom wasn’t asleep in the next room.
I swooped downstairs.
The boys jumped when they saw me, then froze in place, the very picture of guilty children.
“What?” my oldest said. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m sorry!” his little brother blurted out.
That stopped me. “You’re sorry?” I asked. “Why?”
“Oh, um.” He glanced at his brother. “No reason. Never mind. I’m not sorry.”
“You’re not sorry?”
“Well, I mean…” He fidgeted “I could be, if, you know, I had something to be sorry about. You know what I mean?”
“Just keep it quiet,” I said. I pointed at his brother. “You, too. Your mom is trying to sleep.”
I’m still wondering what they were up to.