It was just the two of us, eating dinner at a restaurant of his choice.
When the hostess seated us, I had asked him which side of the booth he wanted,
and he had chosen. I sat opposite. He rose and insisted on joining me.
So, we sat, side by side.
Pressed tightly against one another in a large booth, I had no place to put my arm,
except around him. I did.
He was pleased.
At three years old, he was thrilled to have mommy all to himself.
His three older siblings and daddy were away on an autumn church camping trip.
My mind turned back the pages to a time to when my husband and I were first starting out together...our wedding rehersal dinner...
We sat as close as possible, pressed side by side. Longing for the next day, our wedding day, just one more day away. Then, two would become one...leaving parents to cleave to one another.
A new beginning.
Shyly, I approached his mother. A copied poem in hand. Words penned in calligraphy over a water color wash...
To My Other Mother
You are the other mother I received
The day I wed your son,
And I just want to thank-you Mom
For everything you’ve done.
You’ve given me a gracious man
With whom I share my life,
You are his lovely mother,
And I his lucky wife.
You used to pat his little head,
And now I hold his hand.
You raised in love a little boy,
And then gave me the man.
Her eyes welled up as she read. Given in love, and received with tears...why?
Tears, I did not understand...
Over 12 years later, in a restaurant booth, a little boy, age three, presses his thigh next to mine, and smiles wide. Again, like every day since our oldest was born and grasped my finger with a tiny fist, I melt.
And, I tear up...why?
Now, I understand...as tears flow freely.
"Mommy, are you OK?"
"Yes, baby, I'm fine," my voice cracks. "I love you."
"I love you," he says and gazes up at me, "but, why is your face wet?"
I smile, laugh, and wipe my cheeks dry. "Shall we order dinner?" I ask him.
"Yes, I'm hungry," and he smiles wide.