My son loves me. I mean, he really loves me. There will come a day when I am neither cool nor knowledgeable but for now, I rank up there pretty high, close to his precious stuffed koala. He loves to spent time with me; he loves it if I lay down to snuggle with him before his nap. He loves if I tell him stories; he is ecstatic when we do crafts together. Whether we are playing ball or playing in the dirt or hanging laundry on the roof, remarkably he doesn’t tire of being with me. I can con him into doing most anything if I say the word “together” with a big smile. The other day, he told me sweetly, “Mommy, I love you even when you are grumpy.” How’s that for unconditional love?
Though he is often busy and crazy, he is a thoughtful little boy. Shortly after the baby was born, he wanted to buy me flowers. (His Daddy has taught him well.) It had been one of those postpartum days where anything, good or bad, makes you cry. Of course, when he walked in with flowers for me, I started to cry. And cry. His brow furrowed in confusion and concern. I explained to him that the reason I was crying was because the flowers made me so happy.
Recently, we found a market close by that sells flowers in the national currency. You can get a bunch of locally grown flowers like sunflowers or wild roses for the equivalent of $1. This appears to be an important discovery to Lucas since having living flowers in the house is a tangible sign of his utmost affection for “little Mommy”.
The boys bought me flowers last week. Every day he’d check on them and say, “Mommy, maybe we should change the water. Mommy, aren’t they bea-uuu-tiful? Don’t you just love them? I got them for you to say I love you!” He would wrap his skinny, tanned little arms around my neck in a big hug. Then, invariably, he would say, “When these flowers die Mommy, we need to get you new ones. Then you will know that I love you.” I kept them in the vase water jug until they were undeniably withered. Even Lucas could see that they had died.
Today the boys went to the grocery store on the far side of town and Lucas spotted flowers. Knowing that the roses from last week were really, really dead, he declared that I needed new flowers. He burst through the door at a full tilt run calling me to tell me the grand news that he bought me brand new flowers. To say he loves me. Insert multiple hugs here. And, did you know Mommy, these ones don’t even have “spines” so you can hold anywhere on the stem you want to.
And then, came the inevitable question: “Mommy, why aren’t you crying? Aren’t you happy?”
His pure delight is what gives me joy. Don’t get me wrong. I love flowers. Somehow though, I can walk by the jug and not pay attention but every time I think of his upturned shining face, I have to smile. It has reminded me afresh of how I want to bring a fragrant offering to my Father. I suspect He too is more interested in my delight in giving it than in what I actually give. And I find that thought rather liberating indeed.