oh, by gosh, by golly, it's time for mistletoe & holly...
...and making out with my youngest son.
OK, not really, but wow, for the past month of so, my sweet boy has been laying the love down on me like the only virgin in his graduating class (His college graduating class. Fingers crossed!).
To be fair, I get a bit of the love from this child on a regular basis; however, there are many times when I have to barter for a kiss or make promises I can't weasel out of for a hug (a lesson he's no doubt picked up on via the documentary that plays out daily in the living room between his father and me). From approximately February to mid-October, if our house were to go up in a blaze, my sons would be all, "Grab the man who buys us things and lets us ride in his truck! Forgo the woman who incubated us in her belly and nurtured us from her bosom! Rapido! To the mailbox, where we agree to meet in the event of emergency!"
But when the holiday season rolls around, as my youngest boy begins to realize the impact his moderate disregard for me at any time other than when I'm tempting him with ice cream or narcotics (kidding) might have on his naughty or nice scale, he turns into a little love machine. Don't be surprised if you walked into my house and heard Barry White, Sade or the soundtrack to High School Musical 3 caressing the air and my little Lothario giving me the "How you doin'?'" eyes (which, were this my husband, would involve him jiggling his glass at me in the universal sign to get him a refill, but for my son, it means beckoning me over with a little finger wag. Alas, it's his middle finger. We're still working on that).
Every day, at any time, I'm showered with kisses and squeezed as tightly as tiny arms can squeeze. Admittedly, I love it. I relish the gleam in his eye when I ask him who loves him and he says "Mama where, at any other time of the year, his answer is always "Dad!" Not to take sides, I do complement my query by asking who else loves him, so he will respond by saying his father does, too, but I must admit I'm soaking up the first place love after being an "also ran" who only crosses the finish line after a lot of begging and perhaps some fake tears.
You could say I'm simply coaxing the love out of him by always asking him who loves him. I'd argue that I'm just preparing him for the psychological warfare women will unleash upon him one day and perhaps administer for the rest of his life. Toughening him up for the inevitable with these wicked games we play. But the kid can be a wonderful softy once December arrives in full force. These days, he walks around professing his love for me like some woebegone Romeo.
"I love you, Mama."
"Mama, I love!"
"Have I told you lately that I love you, Mommy?"
"My love, sweet Mama, 'tis greater than the mountains and farther reaching than the stars!"
Who wouldn't love that? I'd like to get me some of that in July, when gifts and stockings and heeds of "Santa's watching you!" didn't have to be used as warfare.
So for now, I'll take what I can get, and the delivery of hugs and kisses has been staggering. To store up on what I fear will drift off again by December 26th, I will ask for kisses at every opportunity. Waiting at the meat counter at the grocery store Monday evening for our pork chops to be wrapped, we counted how many times we could share kisses until our order was complete. At my oldest son's basketball game this past weekend, I'd snag a peck for every pick. God bless this child for not being too ashamed to plant a pucker on his mother in public. At least for now.
However the love gets doled out, whether it's sincere (and yes, I believe it is, and I believe in Santa Claus - at least a little bit! - too) or whether it's fleeting, I'm hoarding it like someone who snags all the perfect presents on their holiday wishes and looks forward to giving them to someone they love.
Because the kid is a charmer. And because I know when the answer returns to always being "Dad!" that within that response he means me, too. And because I have to hold onto the hope that he'd actually not leave me if our house was burning. Because for now, it's burning with love.
Labels: deja vu