Two weeks ago, the youth officer came to our house and talked with Kurt about stealing. It was an effort on our part to curb this behavior. And since then, I've waited and watched for any signs that Kurt listened. Or if he didn't listen, I wanted to catch it and remind him of the officer's words and his pact to stop taking other people's things.
One day last week, I had miscellaneous papers and a few of my business cards sitting on the kitchen table. I walked into the room and found Kurt looking at my mess.
"What Kurt?" I had come across one of those moments I had been watching for. In the past, a piece of colorful mail on the kitchen counter or a pen lying about would disappear. I wouldn't know it was missing until it turned up later in his room. "What are you looking at?"
"Can I have one of your cards?" he said.
I handed him one and while he paused to look it over, I had a moment to think. He doesn't like to be praised so I needed to phrase my words carefully.
"I appreciate that you asked for it," I said, with little emotion showing to make it low key, although inside I was thrilled.
"Why should I ask before I take?" Kurt said.
He got the message!