Last week, the Preschooler sat down to do an art project at the kitchen table while I was making these cookies. After many minutes of focused concentration, he demanded that I immediately stop and admire his handiwork. On the paper among stickers and drawings were the words “I LOVE YOU MOMMY” written by his own hand. I mean, I assume it was his own hand. There wasn’t anybody else in the room.
I win! Usually, all the love stuff gets pointed in his daddy’s direction, often in the form of accidental kicks to the crotch. Still, it’s better than the loveless and non-accidental elbows to the jowls that I usually receive from the kids. Then, it occurred to me that maybe he actually thought he had written Daddy and I shouldn’t make a big deal about confusing M’s with D’s and A’s with, um, U’s, so I managed to distract myself with the realization that, holy shit, he can write.
Who’s been teaching him this stuff? Just last week I found out that he can read entire books by himself. Huh? Is it too late to get him into kindergarten (also known as Cheaper Than Preschool)? But, back to how much he loves me. Right next to the love part, there was a big wet pile of glitter glue sopping through the paper, so I asked him what it was.
Without hesitation, he responded, “A rainbow mountain of jelly blood.”
Hmm. My own, perhaps? I didn’t ask.
Maybe he really did mean to write Mommy, after all, because this is about as accurate a metaphor for motherhood as any. There will be blood. Lots of it. But, at least in 20 years or so, you will have climbed a mountain of rainbows, and at the top, after enjoying the view for a moment (please tell me there’s a moment to enjoy the view), the blood you’ve let along the way will have congealed into a thick, sweet jelly that you can have on your toast for the long walk back down again.
I sure hope he’s right.