Last night after dinner, he wanted to go outside, and after about 20 minutes of not seeing him running anywhere in the back yard or driveway, I went in search of him.
I found him in our side lot with his little folding chair right on the edge of where our lawn meets the weeds before turning into the line of trees.
He had set himself up as if he was just sitting back watching something…and he had been sitting that way for awhile.
“Hey bud. Whatcha doin’?”
“Hi mom! I’m watchin’ the yeeves (leaves) fall.”
It was quite warm and humid yesterday and he had a layer of sweat on his little forehead.
“You’re just watchin’ leaves fall?”
“Yup,” and then he went into a string of questions that must have come to mind in the time he had been sitting there:
“Why is that sign on that tree?”
“What does it say?”
“Why are those leaves red and those orange and those green?”
“Why do some fall?”
“Where is the sun going?”
“Do the deers live in there?”
“Where do they go?”
I was going to tell him to come inside. I was going to change laundry around. But I stopped and got eye-level with him.
“I love you, Eddie. You are so very smart and I am so very proud to be your mom. I will miss you so much tomorrow.”
“I am proud of YOU, mom. And I’ll miss you too.”
Later that night at bedtime he asked me to “yay by me a yittle bit and talk.” (Lay by me a little bit and talk).
And so I did. We talked about leaves and deer and school and pillows.
When I left I squeezed him tight and told him how much I love him.
This morning I found him crying on the steps.
“What’s the matter, bud?”
“You’re getting ready to leave!”
“Yup, but I promise to pick you up from Renae’s and take you home for a snack.”
“Yup. And juice.”
“Have a GREAT day, mom! I love you!”
Then I left most of my heart behind in the bodies of two little boys.
And went to work.