I know it was 100 degrees in the shade and I was on top of a ladder in the garage, but I was by myself. I had just put the baby down for a nap and the two boys in their room for quiet time and I was working away programming two universal remotes for our garage doors. I just finished programming the left door when I heard an ear-piercing scream from the boys’ room. I got down the ladder fast and raced upstairs to see what awful scene I was going to encounter, already mentally calculating the ER bill.
I found Sammy behind his gate absolutely hysterical and crying his eyes out. I opened his gate exasperated. “Sammy, what in the world is the matter?” He cried louder and added some despair for good measure. The baby started bawling in the room next door and I knew he had only had an hour nap. Good gosh. There goes anything I was trying to accomplish. My frustration was a big black hole that had no end. Back to Sammy.
“Sammy, honey, what is going on?” He choked between sobs, “Mom…. mom…. I heard the garage and I thought you were going to leave me!!!!!!” *waillllllllll sob sob sob*
I was insulted. I mean, I have never given my boys any reason to think I would just up and leave them. Also, Dave was home. They knew that. I was just mystified by this outburst. I was about to chide him for his ridiculousness when I noticed his quivering little lip and the fear in his eyes. I got down on my knees and I just held his trembling little body. I was beyond irritated but I consoled this sad little thing, assured him that I was not even going anywhere. Then I got the baby who was clearly awake and I went downstairs.
I met Dave in his office. “I don’t even know what happened up there. Why in the realm of reality would Sammy be afraid of me leaving? Plus, they know you’re here…”
Dave looked at me quizzically. “Honey, they love you.”
This…. this was news to me. I take all the crap, all the day. Everything that comes from the most unloving places.
As I put them down to sleep that night, we read our stories and said our prayers, and I gave them their required ten hugs and kisses and I turned off the lights.
Anyone who knows my boys knows they are very different, but equally determined and independent creatures. In their short lives, they’ve all but moved out and got a job. They aren’t known for being very affectionate and verbally effusive, but I want them to know the security that comes from affection in both words and action. So I tell them I love them ALL the time. I have rarely, if ever heard either of them return it, but I continue to make the deposits.
I stepped outside their room and I heard Josh pipe up “I love you mom!” and then a little Sammy voice piped in “I love you mom!”
I leaned back over their gate and blew kisses. “I love you too boys!”
In 13-ish years they don’t know that the tables will be flipped. They’ll walk out of the door to head to college or whatever life God has called them to and it is I who will feel the panic in my chest. “Josh, Josh…. I heard the garage close and I just know you are going to leave!”
“Now you get yourself back over here and give your mama one more hug and tell me one more story.”