One of the things I love most about my little boy are his expressions of love. They come in all shapes and sizes. Mostly, they are his sweet words - uniquely phrased - honest and sweet.
Two nights ago, after I'd tucked Ella in and I went into say goodnight to Michael, I sat on the edge of his bed - as I always do - to sing him a song. When I got up, he asked (as he usually does) for me to sit with him for a little bit. I agreed, but then I told him I needed to pee. Sometimes I say something along these lines as a half-truth so that I can excuse myself. This time I was being entirely truthful - I am pregnant after all. I hopped up and gave him one more kiss and he wrapped his arm around my neck. In a little soft voice, he said will you come back when you're finished? I want to see your face before I go to sleep. How can a mother say no to that?
Two weeks ago, a similar thing happened. It was bedtime again and I was tucking Michael in. Just before I turned off the light, I leaned over to kiss him goodnight and he pulled me in close with his arm around my neck. Then he said, Mummy, when I'm bigger and I go out by myself. I'll miss you. I immediately thought about him several years from now, old enough to meet his friends and do things without adult supervision. I'll miss you too, I responded and I added, and I'll worry about you every second that you are away.
As Michael continued, I realized I had been mistaken. He wasn't talking about being a teenager, but about getting older and moving out to get married. Mummy, when I get married, I'll always live here with you and you can have lots of kids. Lucky me. I remembered back to the conversation we'd had probably a year and a half ago, when he first realized that he wouldn't live with us forever. His face was so sad and he was almost begging us not to make him leave us.
Finally, this Monday, I came home to find a little card on our altar table in the dining room. Michael ran over to explain that he'd made me a Valentine card at school since he was worried he wouldn't see me on Valentine's day. I asked him why I wouldn't see him. Because, you'll be in the hospital with the baby on Valentine's day Mama. He touches my heart in so many ways. Imagine - at his young age, thinking four months in advance about me.
Don't worry, I explained, I think I may be home in time for Valentine's day if this baby is anything like you and Ella.