Thursday, January 15, 2009

Those three little words

"Mommy?" Josh says many times a day. It may be when we're sitting at the breakfast table, when we're riding in the car, or when I'm taking care of a basic need like pouring him some juice or wiping his behind. Sometimes it's when we're playing outside. Other times it's just as I'm closing his door at bedtime. But no matter where we are or what we're doing, several times each day Josh will say, "Mommy?" with a subtle wistful pitch. Then he waits patiently for me to respond. And when I look up from whatever it is I’m doing and acknowledge him. When I turn my full focus toward him and gently reply, "Yes?" He always says the same thing: "I love you."

All my life, I have heard my mom talk about how I couldn't leave the house when I was little without shouting, "Bye Mom! Love you!" This is a memory I'm sure she clung tightly to through years of sibling rivalry, adolescent know-it-all-ness, and inexplicable teen angst.

Now I know how she must have felt when she heard my small voice calling from the front door. Those words, spoken by my spirited son who depends on me for literally everything he needs each day, are truly the most rewarding words a mother can hear. And I can see how much he means them as they flow from his mouth.

But my favorite part of these exchanges is the tranquil, happy look on his face when I turn back to him and say, “I love you, too.”

2 comments:

Laurie Rodak said...

Aww I can't wait to hear those three magic words. It's true, I also couldn't leave the house without saying I love you to my mother, now I say it to my husband and wait until I hear it back. My poor mother has been demoted to "you too, drive safe."

Sus said...

Cal can't talk yet, really, but here's what he does:

"Who loves you, Cal?" I ask, nibbling his neck.

"Dada?" he says, already onto my game.

"Yeeeess. You're right! But who else?"

"A-A?" his word for Frannie.

"Yeeeesss. She sure does! Who ELSE?"

"BA-BA!"

Yes, I do. I do so love him.

 
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