He calls for me in the morning and clings to my neck with one arm, clutching his blankets in the other. A wide smile and smells of sleep slide around my heart, and we pause for a moment, saying “I Love You” without a word.
Almost immediately, he looks around expectantly, asking for “Addie?”
Smiling into his searching eyes, I explain she is at school; it’s the two of us for a few hours.
Always so full of love, he grips me tighter, his open-mouth, still-baby kiss damply finds my cheek.
“Maamaaaa,” he croons, laughing.
Leisurely, we sit at the dining room table, dawdling over oatmeal and coffee. He feeds his little bear with his spoon; I make a mental note to wash off the oatmeal later, when he can’t see me undoing his handiwork.
Abruptly, he climbs from his little chair, spying a squirrel outside. We wander to the window, where he clamors into my arms. His heaviness reminds me of the fleeting remainder of his baby days, and I pull a chair over to sit and watch cars and squirrels and swirling leaves until he chooses to move on to something else.
He piles book upon book onto the couch, first curling into my side to read, then lowering himself to the ground, mid-story, to find another book to add to the lengthening queue.
He sits pantsless on our little potty, calling out names of animals and cars and airplanes in a favorite Richard Scarry book, though he’s not all that interested in potty training.
Trucks and trains and his toy garage.
Unaccustomed to directing our time, he moves from activity to activity with abandon, looking up to gauge my attention and adoration, spontaneously bestowing hugs and kisses and exclamations of joy.
In our alone time, I hear his words emerging; he is finding his voice.
These moments, uninterrupted play time with my little guy, are a shiny, precious gift that comes from kissing Abbey good-bye on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
We snuggle and laugh and nibble at breakfast, reveling in each other’s company.
The clock ticks forward.
“Time to pick up Abbey!” I announce.
And we tumble out the back door, both of us smiling, his little legs moving faster than they have all day.