Strrreeeetch! Stiff from sleeping in the same position all night, my joints appreciated the liberty to take up the entire surface of our queen-sized bed. I must have slept pretty hard.
“Ow! Oh, good morning, Judah! Kiss me with your lips, not your teeth, please.” I examined my arm as I slid over to make room. No visible bite marks, but the pain from his greeting assured me of a forthcoming bruise. My twelve-year-old snuggled in closer and giggled like a five-year-old getting all the attention. I heard Neil readying the familiar frying pan for Saturday morning pancakes.
“Mommy, come.” Half breaking free from Judah’s vice-grip neck hug, I rolled over to address my thirteen-year-old son.
“Noah, I’m right here. What would you like?”
Completely unsatisfied with my response, he tried again. “Mommy, lie down?” Spending time with Noah is easy. His love language is quality time. All I need to do to show him I love him is spend time with him. No need to talk or play. For Noah, just sitting close, lying next to him while we watch Veggietales before praying together at bedtime speaks to his heart. Propinquity.
“I am lying down, Noah.” Just then my blankets buzzed. Still partly in a neck-lock with Judah, I felt around for my phone buried under the blankets. I must have forgotten to plug it in last night.
“Hang on a second, Noah. Hello? Oh, hey, Mom…”
“Mommy, come.” My eyes met Noah’s as I gave the universal “wait” sign pointing my index finger in the air.
On the other end of the line, my mom was telling me about a box she was missing from their recent move when I had to interrupt her for two reasons:
“Hang on a sec, Mom.” I finally broke free from Judah’s strong hold around my neck and cleared my personal space. I was feeling a little cramped. His high-pitched happy squeal shattered my eardrum as I turned to Noah and reemphasized, “You wait. I am on the phone.” Noah’s body tensed and he slammed his hands down on the bed several times. Not hard. Just enough to show his frustration.
“Okay, I’m back.” My mom continued processing aloud about where that box might be. As I listened, I watched Noah concede defeat. With his head down and shoulders slumped, he slowly walked out the door. By this time, Judah cleared the bed and looked for something else to do. His giggles from the kitchen made me smile. I can just see him making sure enough butter was in the pan!
My mom was still talking when I felt the covers being pulled back on Neil’s side of the bed. Noah quietly climbed in and made himself comfortable as he pulled the covers up to his chin. I leaned over and positioned a little kiss on his forehead. When he looked at me, I mouthed the words I love you. He snuggled in comfortably as I finished my conversation on the phone.
It dawned on me after the call ended, Noah felt jealous of my undivided attention with Judah and possibly a little slighted. Pillows fluffed behind my back and blankets pulled up to my waist, I grabbed my tablet and chose Bejeweled. Although, my concentration was on matching three or more of the same colored stones in a row, I focused on Noah in my peripheral. A contented, relaxed youth sprawled on the bed playing on his iPad replaced the tense, agitated boy vigorously flapping his arms and beating the blankets. The smell of buttery pancakes wafted in from the kitchen. Noah wanted me all to himself. No moving from his spot next to mom!
“I’m sorry I got mad at you.”
I stopped. What did he say? Did I hear that right? Maybe he’s just repeating something he heard from a movie.
“I’m sorry I got mad at you.”
~~~~~ Freeze Frame ~~~~~
WHAT?!! LORD, are You kidding me? I mean, I know he was mad at me. Did You just tell him to say that because he rarely talks in full sentences unless told. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard an unprompted full sentence that wasn’t from a movie! It’s so random! It’s out of the blue! But SO appropriate! Is he really talking to me?
~~~~~ Unfreeze Frame ~~~~~
“Noah, look at me. What did you say?
Noah turned his head and our eyes locked for several seconds before he spoke. “I’m sorry I got mad at you.” He went back to making his movie on his iPad. I was stunned for several more seconds before responding.
“Noah, look at me.” I held his face between my hands so he couldn’t look away. “I forgive you. You. Are. Forgiven. I forgive you.” A little smile spread across his face. All was right in the world again.