It’s possible that one of the few places I’ve found, where love feels so pure, is the love for those boys. The little ones with the big ocean eyes and long, thick lashes. The ones with yogurt smeared on their sleeve, denim torn at the knee, pot-bellied and pale-skinned. Those boys are so delicious I can feel my heart leap inside my chest at the sight of them.
“Mama loves you?”
This is Nico’s newest, and possibly most adorable question for me these days.
“Mama loves you?” he asks. And I say, “Yes, mama loves you…” and he wraps an arm around my neck and squeezes so hard that my left cheek and his right cheek touch with a glorious smoosh.
Last night when I was putting Ben down in his room, I heard Nico talking to Matt: “Mama loves you?” and Matt saying, “Yes, and daddy loves you too.”
“Daddy loves you? Benda loves you?” Nico continued to ask.
And I can relate to this question, that is perhaps underneath every other question.
Will you pick me up from class?
What should we have for dinner tonight?
Do you think we’ll go on vacation this year?
Maybe we are really asking- Do you love me? Am I lovable?
Ben has been sulking on the couch these days. When he gets upset about something, he runs into the living room and sits on the couch. After a minute or so he shouts, “Isn’t anyone going to come hug me?”
And I am learning, that when we are hurt, when we run away and hide, we really just want to be found.
And so I remember more these days to ask, “Do you need a hug?”
And he almost always says yes.