Friday, March 6, 2009

Between a Hug and a Choke

Tucked inside the usual sheaf of papers about snack schedules and fundraisers that the afterschool program leaves for me once a month was a folded piece of pink construction paper, decorated in a multicolor scribble of markers by the oversized, nearly 7-year-old hands of Thing 2.

"Mom and Dad," read the cover, "you are the bast pares I have."

I turned to the boy, who was putting on his coat, which was once bright yellow but now bore the three-dimensional haze of grays, blacks, browns and whites from a winter of being tossed on the floors of gyms, basements and classrooms.

"Is this a leftover from Valentine's Day?"

"Yep," he said.

Flipping it open, I found a trimmed sheet of loose-leaf stapled in. In pencil, his scribble lay.

"Mom and Dad you are the bast peppl on earth. Thing 1 thacs for halping me on pok'emon."

I looked at him, his coat flying open as he twisted his body side to side.

"Dude," I said, "thanks."

His head tilted up. His eyes shifted toward whatever invisible object it is he always seems to focus on that's dangling down from the ceiling over your left shoulder when you talk to him.

"You're welcome. Now," he said, turning away so I could clearly see the frayed strap on his Spider-Man backpack that I had repaired with duct tape a few months ago, "let's get going -- chubby."

Son, dear son.

I should hug you more often. I really should.

Sometimes, though, so much of my energy goes into trying NOT to throttle you that I just can't lift my arms. And, trust me -- that is a good thing. A very, very good thing.

I love you, too, you little twerp.


  1. This is super sweet. You are a great pare.

  2. Sometimes I can't believe that I, myself am a parent. Then the love just smacks you in the head and you wake up so happy and gratified!

  3. You made me choke up here.
    Very 'Courtship of Eddy's Father' post.

    Nilsson - "Best Friend"

  4. Sounds like a Valentine's Day card that you will always remember. Very cute.

    And here's a congratulatory beer for allowing him to make you another one next year!

  5. So sweet! (and don't worry, they'll get spell check soon. LOL @ JAnna Bee's comment, too!)

  6. It's this kind of moment that made me want to be a maam, for according to my 7 year old's story about his family, that's what I am. I like to think he means ma'am in the sense that I'm the stately woman who runs this mansion.

  7. Very cute! And I know that look over your shoulder kind of focus - my son is 27, I still get it!

  8. you're hitting the heart strings uncool. We won't be able to call you uncool anymore if you keep this up!

  9. Aw, now you made me cry! A happy cry, as we call it around here.

  10. Aw. This sentiment has me all weepy. I'm going to hug my twerp now.

  11. I received many such loving notes from Angst long ago. Back when his name was Cutie Putooty, not Angst. Enjoy the love while it's coming your way.

  12. "Now let's get going, Chubby". That was a for real LOL.

    Good Times!


  13. Don't you love the love/hate relationship we have with our kids.

    BTW Your son spells better than I do, and I've got spellcheck...

  14. really DO sound like good peppl!

  15.'s sweet! i'm not looking forward to the day my kid calls me chubby!

    Right now I use anything and all resources to push into his mind how beautiful and cool I am! :)

  16. It's amazing, you can get whiplash from the speed at which they switch gears on you.


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