by thea marie
An Anecdote from my life as a mother of sons....
Where Did That Come From?
You never know how children see things. Two, three, and perhaps even some four-year-olds are the best for offering candid comments, opinions, and/or insights. In their absolute innocence, they don’t know any better than to tell you exactly what’s on their minds.
I was giving my two-year-old firstborn son a bath. Being my only at the time, he was precious to me, my gilded one. He was smart, precociously articulate, charismatic, cute; a new mother’s dream. Because his father worked the day shift, he and I spent most of his waking hours together. We were very close in those early days. As I washed him up that evening, we were talking about the day we’d had.
“Keith, you were so good at the birthday party, today." I told him. "I was so proud of you.”
He grinned up at me, flashing his father’s dimples; he was so sweet. I continued my effusive, heartfelt praises.
“When you grow up, you’re going to be such a good man. You’re going to be so smart. You'll go to college, and get a good job, and have a big house of your own.”
“Yeah,” He nodded as he casually maneuvered his plastic tugboat through the snowy mounds of Mr. Bubble. “Then you can come live with me, and you won’t have to sleep with Daddy any more.”
Caught completely off guard, I didn’t know what to make of that observation. I didn’t know where that had come from, and I was not about to ask; if I had, he might have told me. Kids say things, and those things can have a million and one meanings, depending upon how you look at them and how deeply beneath the surface you're willing to go. I wasn't going there all.
That one was left right where it was, hovering in the moist, bathroom-humid air around us. He continued sailing his boat, never once batting an eye. I continued washing him up- in silence.
Two more kids and twenty years later, he and I are still quite close, and that remains for me- and my husband- one of those classic, tickling, but unclarified moments in parenthood.