Today he was a ninja with a plastic sword.
He was a knight with a dragon on his shield. He was a Leaf Man protecting “da woods” with his Hobbit knife. He was a “worker guy” with a hard hat and a hammer. He was a “fixer” with his daddy’s screwdriver. He was a farmer. He was a weasel. He was a musician when he played his Buzz Lightyear “tar” and sang “I’m in da Lord’s Army.”
He was a hunter when he tracked down an imaginary Big Bad Wolf so he could get him with his marshmallow shooter. He was the train conductor of his Thomas the Train table. He was a singer, a cowboy, a football guy; he was an architect with his sister’s wooden marble run.
He was a dinosaur who tried to eat me, a monster who knocked down his sister’s block tower, a logger with his toy chainsaw, and a chef when we made cookies. He was “da twash man” when he hauled empty cans to the recycle bin in his dump-truck. He was a snow plow-er (at least until he got snow down his neck and came inside crying) and a “cleaner-guy” who cleaned every window and wall he could squirt with his Windex squirter.
Tonight I go to tuck him in under his fuzzy blue blanket. He has one race car sock on and one off. His little pink pinky toe sticks out through the holes in his crocheted blankie. He has on a little motorcycle t-shirt and his cozy red sweatpants. The first 2 fingers of his left hand are in his mouth (as usual.) He has a little scratch under his right eye and he’s in need of a haircut – but he’s still the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen.
“I want you snuggle me,” he says, and he scootches over in his big boy bed so I can scoot in next to him. “I need Mousie.” I find his little
koala bear beanie baby, aptly named “Mousie,” and tuck it in with him next to his brown “Dino.”
“I want you read my Farmer book.” He puts his little hand on my head and wraps my curly hair around his fingers. He laughs. “Yous hair wooks funny.”
We say prayers together and then I pray, “God, help me to be a good mommy. Help me to do the right things. Help me to teach Jed to be a kind boy; help him learn to obey Mommy and Daddy and to grow into the kind of man You’re proud of. Please protect him and keep him safe.”
“Where God?” he asks. “Watchin’ over me?” “Yep,” I answer.
Then he wants to talk about good guys and bad guys (and Big Bad Wolves.) I tell him that he is a good guy, and when he grows up, he will be a good guy who helps other people because that’s what good guys do. He thinks about that and nods. “Uh huh. Yes. But sometimes we are bad.”
“Yes, we are all bad sometimes, but that’s when we say, sorry. And we say God, please help me be good.” He thinks about that too. “Uh huh. And Mom, sometimes when you not here… when you not here, I talk to God.”
I put my face down in the pillow next to his little head so he won’t worry if he sees my tears. I love him so much it physically hurts. I rub his soft little boy hair and listen to him breathing next to me. My heart aches with thankfulness for this little person who is mine for such a short while. I have to remind myself not to suffocate him by holding on too tight. He’s still so little… but already so big compared to the “baby boy” I sang lullabies to 3 years ago.
He pats me on the back and says, “And I wub you vewy much too, Mom.”
How can someone so small take up my entire heart?
He’s so many things – ninja, dinosaur, chef, cowboy… but he’s always going to be my baby boy.
“I not a baby, mom. I a big boy. But mom, I need you…I need you snuggle me one more time.”
Okay, buddy. One more time.