“Oh, baby,” I say as I pick H up to rock him. We are in bed, heading into what I sense is the final stretch before sleep.
“Oh, baby,” H repeats.
“You are my baby. You will always be my baby,” I say, gently laying him back down on the bed and kissing his nose.
“H always comes back,” he replies.
“Yes, mama always comes back,” I say. It is something I have said to him often, almost every time I have left him for any length of time over the past two years. I think this is what he means to say to me now.
“H always comes back, too,” he says, and I realize he said what he meant to the first time. He is telling me he always comes back.
I wonder if he can see right through me, right into my heart. I wonder if it means it comforts him to hear those words from me. I wonder if he knows that it might comfort me, too, to hear those words from him. I wonder how I got so lucky to be parenting this gentle, sweet soul.