As I make the drive from my house to my son’s school, I listen to the radio, or drive in silence, and savor those last moments of Woman before turning back into Mommy.
I anticipate what he did during his three hours away from me and hope that he had a wonderful time and has stories to share. But since he is, indeed, two, I never know if I will encounter a happy toddler or a defiant one. It is always a surprise.
Yesterday, when I picked him up, I was pleased to find that he was in good spirits. I was so elated to be in the presence of this sweet and happy boy, that my heart nearly burst with my love for him.
After strapping him into his car seat, pulling out of the parking lot, and asking about his day, I could no longer contain my emotion and I exclaimed, “I love you so much. I love you more than ice cream!”
With a smile, he replied, ” I love you more than coke!”
We both laughed. “Coke” is his joke word. He has never been allowed to have Coke, but we do have it at home very occasionally. He thinks it’s a funny word and knows it is a forbidden treat and a “grown up drink” and so he throws that word out at random.
I decided to counter with, “I love you more than birthday cupcake!”
He responded with a laugh, “I love you more than a hippopotamus!”
We were both hysterically laughing now. I was filled to the brim with joy at this simple game of love with my two-year old.
I decided to keep going with a silly, “I love you more than……potatoes!”
The car filled with the melody of hysterical laughter from a mommy and a little boy, and then lulled as we caught our breaths.
I heard my little boy’s enthusiastic pitch die down to a summarizing tone as he replied, ” I love you more than coke or coffee…or something,” he added as I saw him shrug his shoulders in my rearview mirror.
I knew that the game was over, but I was so thrilled at its existence and felt like I was walking on clouds after our game of love and laughter.
I was still so in awe of how much I love that little boy in my back seat, that I said, “Awww, I love you so much sweet boy,” in a soothing mommy voice and with a big smile.
After a brief pause, I heard the reply, “I love you Mommy. Now be quiet.”
I quietly shook my head, refocused my hands on the steering wheel, and suppressed my smile. I just never know what version of this child I will get. Even in the wake of his constant personality shifting two-ness, he continues to surprise me with his displays of love.
And that’s what makes this Mommy thing so great isn’t it? That even though there are days when you want to give up, there are also days when you play love games and make music with your laughter and I am just all together overwhelmed at the love I feel for that little person who calls me “Mommy.”