At the library, waiting for Max to be done with his book club meeting, Raphael logged onto one of the computers. I was sitting at a table, reading my book, and glanced up to see him getting frustrated. I set down my book and went over to crouch beside him.
"Look, honey, you need an 'A' there, not an 'O'. How's that?" I fixed the point of his frustration with a few quick key strokes. He nodded, distracted, still watching the screen to be sure all was well. Just as I was about to stand up, he turned and looked fully at me. He leaned his forehead against mine and dropped a feather-light kiss on my nose.
"You are my own special mom. Thank you."
And he went back to what he was doing.
I do not deserve his tenderness. I have been worthless lately, equal parts tired and short-tempered. And yet my days are filled with such kindness.
Today Tre cleaned the downstairs bathroom, also known as the boys' bathroom, also known as...ewwww. He'd offered to take over the bathroom cleaning while I'm pregnant - offered! Of his own volition! He didn't think the bad smells of bathroom cleaning would be good for me in my delicate state. (He didn't say "delicate state" he said "because you might ralph.") And I, being the easygoing mom that I am, promptly decided that he would never do it right, and took to sneaking around, cleaning the bathroom when he was outside playing.
But today I let go a bit, pried my fingers off one tiny corner of control, and pointed him to the cleaning supplies. He flew to work, only asking a few questions.
He did a great job. I watched him swagger away, very pleased with himself, and wondered again where this almost-man came from. So often lately I'm gritting my teeth when I'm talking to him, because we are at logger-heads over EVERYTHING these days, and he is RELENTLESS. It gets to the point where he just walks in the room and I can feel my blood pressure rise.
Then he turns around and is so thoughtful and kind it makes me stop, catch my breath, and watch him grow up, in awe.
I had to call him back to put the cleaning stuff away, but still.
Far more kindness than I deserve.