Oh, Henry.  He’s always keeping me on my toes and lately, like just in the last couple of weeks, he’s really starting to mature.  He’s sitting still for stories and not getting into trouble out at recess.  It’s a wonderful transition to witness.

This morning, after Henry came back from the cafeteria for breakfast, one of the cafeteria helpers came in to chat with me… about Henry.

Apparently he hit another child.  She wasn’t sure what the details where… Why did he do it?  Did the other boy hit him first?

I walked into the hallways with Henry and the helper.

“Henry, did you hit the other boy?” I asked.

He looked up at me and his eyes started to well up.

No answer.

“It’s allright Henry, you can tell me the truth,” I prodded.

“Are you going to be mad at me? Are you going to hate me?” He wondered.

With this, I knelt down so I could look him right in the eyes.

“Henry, I’m not going to be mad at you and I will never, ever hate you… I promise,” I said.

This was exactly what he needed to hear.

“I did it, I hit him, I did it first,” he blurted out.

“You know what, it’s never O.K. to hit, but I’m so proud of you for telling me the truth,” I said.

Sometimes, I feel like these life lessons, the simple ones, like telling the truth is always right are so critical to some of my sprouts.  That moment, when I told him, with my words and my eyes, you can trust me – and he looked up and was honest, that was powerful.  It’s true, the truth really will set you free.