I was walking through the kitchen, between tasks #235 and #236 when Raphi’s head popped up on the other side of the counter that separates the kitchen from the family room.
“HEY,” he said in that gentle, unassuming way of his, “JUST HOLD IT A SECOND!” I paused and looked at him.
“What is it, honey?”
“WE are talkin’ together,” he laced his fingers together, rested his hands on the counter in front of him, and grinned at me.
Well, it’s hard to refuse an offer like that. I leaned against my side of the counter and smiled back at him.
“Ok, what are we talking about?”
“That one pointed at the four and now ah am four!”
“No, just because the hand on the clock points to the four doesn’t mean you’re four years old. You’ll be four when you have your birthday in June.” We’ve been having this discussion since…about four o'clock yesterday.“Oh. Well.”
I moved to stand up and he grabbed my sleeve.
“WAIT! We’re STILL talkin’ together.”
So we stood there for a few moments. He told me, with wide earnest eyes, about how he’d been fighting dinosaurs just a moment ago, and one of them had bitten him on the elbow. I inspected the “wounded” elbow and soberly agreed he was a very brave dinosaur slayer. He told me he was going to grow up to be an Appa and I reminded him he’d have to be a daddy first. He agreed, but suggested his Appa could be his baby when he was a daddy. He has a ways to go still on figuring out all the family roles.
But at least one role he’s sure of, and he patted my cheek and sighed,
“Yoo are mah Mama.” I put my hand over his and agreed and he continued, “And ah am your son.” He said it with such deep satisfaction that we both just sat for a moment, he patting my cheek, me, patting his sticky little hand.
My number one complaint in life these days is that there isn’t enough time. I may have mentioned this. Too often I rush past the moments with the boys, the small exchanges that make up a relationship with a child. My prayer, my fervent prayer tonight as I remember that hand under mine, is that I stop often enough. That I set aside enough time so my boys and I can talk together.