"Mommy, look!!!" cried my son, pointing to a really cool car in the next lane. "Uh-huh", I murmured, driving, lost in thought about the tight schedule of my day. Disappointment filled his face. "What's the matter, Honey?" I asked, entirely dense. "Nothing", my eight year old son said. The moment was gone. Homework, baseball practice, dinner, baths and phone calls filled the hours until bedtime. "Come on, Joseph, time for bed!" he raced past me to his room. Tired, I kissed him on the cheek, said prayers and tucked him in. "Mom, I forgot to give you something!" he said. My patience was gone. "Give it to me in the morning", I said but he shook his head. "You won't have time in the morning!", he retorted. "I'll take the time", I answered defensively. Sometimes no matter how hard I tried, time flowed through my fingers like sand in an hourglass, never enough. Not enough for him, for my husband and definitely not enough for me. He wasn't ready to give up yet. He wrinkled his freckled little nose in anger and swiped back his shiny red hair. "No, you won't! It will be just like today when I told you to look at that cool car. You didn't even hear what I said." I was too weary to argue; he hit too close to the truth. "Good Night!" I shut his door with a resounding thud. Later though, his green-blue gaze filled my vision as I thought about how little time we really had until he was grown and gone. My husband asked, "What's the matter?" I told him what had gone on. "Maybe he's not asleep yet. Why don't you check", he said with all the authority of a parent in the right. I followed his advice, wishing it was my own idea. I cracked open his door and the light from the window spilled over his sleeping form. In his hand I could see the remains of a crumpled paper. Slowly I opened his little palm to see what the item of our disagreement had been. Tears filled my eyes. He had torn into small pieces a big red heart with a poem he had written titled, "Why I Love My Mother!" I carefully removed the tattered pieces. Once the puzzle was put back into place, I read what he had written:
WHY I LOVE MY MOTHER
You always take time to play
I love you Mommy because
I am the biggest part of your busy day!
The words were an arrow straight to the heart. At eight years old, he had the wisdom of Solomon. Ten minutes later, I carried a tray to his room with two cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows and two peanut butter sandwiches. When I softly touched his smooth cheek, I could feel my heart burst with love. His thick, light eyelashes lay like fans against his lids as they fluttered, awakened from a dreamless sleep, and he looked at the tray. "What is that for?" he asked, confused by this late-night intrusion. "This is for you... because you are the most important part of my busy day!" He smiled and sleepily drank half of his cup of chocolate. Then he drifted back to sleep, not really understanding how strongly I meant what I said.