My Sweetheart

March 4, 2012

“Do you have boys in your class, Mommy?”
Will was at the kitchen table finishing up his lunch when he asked me this. He’s really starting to understand about how his dad and I actually do things when we’re not home, and he’s starting to connect me with school. It’s still a surprise to me when he makes the connection, so I’m guessing I looked at him a little funny, but I answered him. “Yes, honey. I have a lot of boys in my class.”
“Oh. I have four.” And he proceeded to tell me the names of the four boys. Now, there aren’t as many boys as girls in his class – not by a long shot – but I know there are more than four. So I figured those were the ones he played with. We don’t hear a ton about preschool from him. In fact, it worries me about how little I’ll hear in sixth grade when all I can get out of him at age three is “We colored.” So I wanted to keep him talking about it.
“Are those your buddies?” I asked him.
But he shook his head. “No. Just you are my buddy.”
Ok – cool Mommy moment there. I admit that I stopped worrying about whether or not he’s made friends and just smiled at him. Then – because it was a normal day – I turned back around to the dishes I was doing. I figured the conversation was over.
But, as usual with Will, I was wrong. “Mommy, you can be my Sweetheart.”
Oh. That called for turning off the water, wiping my hands off, and catching him up in a hug. As I did, I wondered – as we often do with this kid – how he’d figured out that particular phrase enough to use it. “Thank you! So, what does that mean?”
He looked at me like I was speaking French. “What?”
“What does it mean if I’m your Sweetheart?”
He just looked at me and shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said simply. Then he grinned and wiggled to get down. So I let him run off to his Batman playset, and I went back to my dishes. The things that he does to floor me don’t usually leave any impression on him whatsoever. He’s ready to move on to the next thing – I’m the one that wants to stop and record them. It’s funny, how that works. Maybe someday the kids will be glad that I wrote all these things down for him…maybe not. But I will be. Life is so incredibly busy lately – and I’m being assured that it’ll get worse before it gets better – that I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, let alone what the kids said last week that made me laugh. Surely, when he’s in the middle of the obnoxious teen-age years, I’ll need to remind myself that at some point in his life he actually wanted to be my sweetheart. So I’m making scrapbooks, and I’m writing things down like this when I can. I’m starting to feel strongly that time is slipping away and I’m missing things. Maybe if I can keep doing things like this, I won’t spend so much of my time worrying. Better to be busy than be worried, right? 

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