Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The Bitty Boy with the Gigantic Heart

Sometimes our children say things that simply melt our hearts...

For the last few days, viruses have paraded through our house like they owned the joint.  First, Big Boy brought some kind of bug home from school, then I started catching something.  Through all this, SuperHusband -- with his immune system of steel -- and Bitty sat patiently by while we staggered through the house zombie-like.  Thankfully, mine only lasted one day, but we were careful to temporarily suspend all the hugging and kissing in an effort to keep anything from spreading.

Still, despite our best efforts, I received the call from Bitty's preschool yesterday saying I needed to come pick him up.

"He's got a temp of 101," his teacher explained.  "It took me a while to decide whether or not to call you.  He sat on the bench during recess.  I asked him if he was okay and he said, 'I'm in a good mood, Miss V, I just don't feel like playing.'"

Knowing he's typically an active and uber-expressive kid, she kept an eye on him, and sure enough, he stayed quiet and still all morning.  Then lunch time arrived and my normally voracious little shark "took one look at his sandwich, looked sick and put it back down." That's when she took his temperature and called me.  "I just wasn't sure.  I can't believe how positive he was all morning."

Googly Eyes go everywhere!

I walked in to find my pitiful little guy sitting by himself staring at his lunch.  Only the juice box had been drained.  "Momma, I just need to get in my own bed," he said.

"Don't worry, buddy, I'll get you there."  I carried him to the car with his little arms wrapped around my neck, strapped him in and handed him a bag in case he felt sick on the way home.  He white-knuckled it all the way.

#PiratePatchArt Request:  Whale Shark

A few minutes into the ride, he said, "Momma, I really, really love you."

"I love you too, buddy, more than you know."

And that's when he said it -- the sweetest thing he's ever said:  (...which is saying something)

"Momma, I tried really hard to feel good, because I wanted to love on you.  When you were sick, you said you couldn't kiss me and I wanted to be able to kiss and hug you 'cause I just really love you."

Ugh.  I'm not weepy all the time or anything, but if you can be assaulted by the blow of so much love, I'm pretty sure that was me at that moment.  What did I ever do to deserve such a dear, affectionate, loving little man?  And phew, how much guilt was I feeling about raising my voice to him when he was dilly-dallying that morning?

I am so deeply moved by the depth of my children.  So young, and yet already my son knows more about love than I do.  And my eldest -- he's less demonstrative in his affection, but he's the most compassionate person I've ever known.  At six years old, he can't stand to see another child -- or adult -- cry.  I've watched as he walked up to complete strangers in the hospital to comfort them. 

Big Boy is teaching Bitty some sight words.

Not unlike the pathogens that filtered into our home earlier this week, sometimes I think the hardening of our hearts is an infection that happens subtly, with time and disappointment.  My prayer is that God will help me safeguard these little hearts so they never become embittered.  I want them always to love like they love Christ loved.  My innocent little boy was willing to suffer in polite silence all morning in order to show me, his impatient, hyper-scheduled mom, his love.

I can't imagine -- in this life -- that we can get much closer to God than that.

"...for of such is the kingdom of heaven."  Matt 19:14