About a month ago, I was reading a pop-up version of The Jungle Book to my son. At the end, Mowgli left the jungle to live with people. My son asked why did the boy have to leave the jungle and I far-too-quickly explained that all children grow up and leave their parents.
I had returned my attention to the book or anyway looked away for a moment. When I looked back, my son had a long face and huge, puppy-dog eyes* and softly asked if all children had to leave their parents.
I quickly tried to repair the damage and after a long hug from me and another from mom, he was able to move on.
Skip ahead to today. This morning I was informed that he liked hugging me when we parted at the kindergarten door, but not when his friends could see. Then he went into the school and didn’t try to comfort me or notice my long face!
* “long face” and “puppy-dog eyes” are cliches but for good reason: they perfectly described his appearance.