I wish I had a key to the magical closet that holds the parenting manuals. You know, the special ones that tell you how it's really done. If I only had that key, I could have read the manual and understood that this morning when my son suddenly dropped his backpack in the middle of the schoolyard, stuck his fingers in both ears, and ran off that he wasn't misbehaving but rather was scared of an older child who had cursed him a few weeks before. I would have known that it would be best to simply pick up the bag and go talk to him instead of angrily racing after him and demanding (publicly, thus creating a whole other issue that we will have to deal with later) that he go back and get it. I would have trusted him enough to stop and ask why he'd done something so out of place, rather than jumping to assume it was misbehavior or at the very least carelessness and responding in anger.
If I had the key to that magical closet full of parenting manuals I wouldn't feel like such a lousy parent this morning.