There are so many sweet things that my little girls do.
They are so gentle with their baby brother, that the first thing they do when they get off the school bus, is run over and give him a big kiss on the cheek. They are always anxious to help me clean up the kitchen, or take dishes off the table, or make their beds - or make my bed - or fold clothes, or pick out clothes for themselves that most closely resemble whatever it is that I am wearing that day.
My little girls are so sweet it takes my breath away.
As for my little boys, they are so riotously energetic that it takes my breath away. They wrestle and tumble and fashion anything they can find in to a "sword." They roar like dinosaurs and jump off couches and coffee tables. They collect rocks and sticks and pine cones and bugs and frogs.
My little boys are the epitome of little boys, even when they barrel around the driveway on their sister's pink princess scooter, their faces smeared with dirt...
Or when they dress up in 50 outfits over the course of a day, many of which make me say, "HUH?"
My little girls will say some of the most adorably cute things throughout the day. But my little boys, particularly William, routinely crack me up beyond measure.
Today, when he stepped off the school bus, he told my husband, "Dad. The teacher says I don't have any school tomorrow." Charlie was confused. Last week, the kids had Columbus Day off, but surely they didn't have another short week this week, too?
My husband called me at work to confirm. I suggested that he look at the school calendar, that we have posted on the refrigerator. Sure enough, the children do indeed have school tomorrow. When Charlie brought up the "discrepancy" with William, our kindergartner shrugged and said, "Well, I thought it was worth a shot."
I probably shouldn't have laughed, but when Charlie relayed this story to me, I had to wipe the tears from my eyes. I've already written about how much William dislikes school and it's not because he isn't interested. Once he's there, he loves it. (Or so his sisters and teacher say.) But when he's home, he'd rather stay home, digging in the dirt and dressing up in whatever clothes suits his mood that split second in time.
When I came home from work, I thought it was necessary to sit down and reiterate the importance of always telling us the truth. As I explained how it's critical for us to know what's happening in his life, I relayed the story of the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf, and emphasized William is part of our family's "circle of trust."
It's important that he doesn't break that circle.
He nodded in understanding.
A few minutes later, as I was washing his sister's hair, I heard what sounded like the refrigerator door opening. Charlie was outside doing some work, so I issued a blanket statement to whomever was in the kitchen. "Henry. William. If you opened the refrigerator, please close it. And then, please tell me what are you doing?"
There was a long pause before I heard William ask, "Mom? Should I tell you the truth?"
"Yes," I responded. "Please do." He hesitated for a moment more before he said, "Well, if you really must know, I'm sitting at the table eating ice cream right out of the box."
And sure enough, he was.
Rocky Road. It's my favorite, too, so I could hardly blame the child.
Tonight, as I was tucking him in to bed, I was softly singing, "Doe a Deer" while gently rubbing his forehead. He was struggling to keep his eyes open when he whispered, "William could get used to this." Then he opened his eyes and smiling at me said, "Mom, I think I've fallen in love with you." As he snuggled under his blankets he added, "And that's really REALLY the truth!"
It's also the truth that these are the memories that will sustain me for life.