Today I had a 12 year old boy who I had only known for about 3 hours prior, approach me and start rambling about his home life. He began, "I'm going to have a new dad soon - my mom is marrying this guy named Chris." And continued for about 5 minutes telling me about all of the step-siblings he is going to be living with, about his dad's new girlfriend and her son, about having to go back and forth between two homes (50/50 custody), about a new baby, etc.
After 5 minutes, when I could finally get a word in I stopped him and said, "I'm sorry."
He looked at me like he heard me wrong, probably expecting me to be excited for him and tell him congratulations.
He said back to me, "What?"
I said, "It sounds like you have a lot of complicated things going on in your life now. I'm sorry you have to go through that. I'm sorry there was nothing you could do about the choices your parents made."
He looked at me with a look of relief and said, "Thank you for actually listening to me. You're the first person."