I’m not really sure what happened – perhaps I was just too tired, or maybe it was all the stress I’ve been feeling lately. Whatever the cause, I think it’s finally gone. And that makes me really, really happy.
Know what else makes me really, really happy? This guy.
Last night, after a great walk and play date with new friends and after I had finished writing the first blog post I’ve written in weeks, F and I curled up together with a soft blanket well past our bedtime to chat. The nights of just F and I are on hold for a while, you see, as Little is coming to stay with us once again.
F suddenly sat up, very concerned, and asked if we had remembered to put the chocolate milk back in the fridge and I couldn’t help but laugh out. It was so unusual.
F is rarely concerned about issues like whether the milk is in the fridge or the light was turned off before we walked out the door. He probably couldn’t care less most of the time. So, after reassuring him that the chocolate milk was, in fact, safely stored away in the refrigerator, I snuggled him a little closer and told him I loved him.
But why, Mama?
And then it hit me: I tell him all the time how smart he is. I tell him I love him. I tell F all kinds of nice things, but I never back it up – which is pretty silly, because there are millions upon millions of reasons why I love him, why he’s smart and how he’s a great guy. So I started telling him.
And it turned into a little game.
“I love you because you are thoughtful and funny. I like the way you think about things and ask questions so you can learn. That’s why I think you’re so smart.”
“Mama, I love you because you do fun things with me and take care of me. And I like that you play with me a lot and we go for walks and you buy me toys all the time!”
I got a little teary-eyed hearing F say some of the things he said, and it made me realize how grown up my little boy has become. In a lot of ways, he’s much older than four – he regularly helps me get dinner ready (as in, he MAKES the salad) and we have grown up conversations more often than not. It was the perfect end to a day that had gotten off to a poor start.
And the next time he’s acting his own age, throwing a toy at me or trying to pull the cat by the tail, I’ll savour that moment and try to wrestle him into the pants he doesn’t want to put on, just the same.