“What’s wrong, Mama?” he asks as he climbs onto my lap, a spindly bundle of arms and legs that always manage to sucker-punch an internal organ.

“Oh, I’m just sad,” I tell him, running my fingers through his long dark hair, knowing there are some things that cannot be explained to a five-year-old.

“Did someone hurt your feelings?” he asks, as he stares intently at my face, his wide brown eyes boring holes into the back of my skull.

“No, baby, no one hurt my feelings,” I reply, the truth.

“Did a bad guy come?” he asks, quite seriously as his eyes attempt to puzzle out my expressions.

“No, baby, there are no bad guys here,” I laugh a bit, the tears still pooling in my eyes.

His sister wanders in to notice us on the couch together, and, seeing an opportunity in which she should be occupying the space on my lap, climbs up with a grace I didn’t know could come from my genetics.

“You have a boo-boo, Mama?” she asks, her long lashes open and shut as she, too, studies my face with a stunning intensity.

“Sort of,” I tell her as I kiss her, then her brother, on the forehead. “Sort of.”

“Can I kiss it and make it better?” he asks, looking for any open wounds to put his mouth on.

Before I can respond, she climbs down and runs off. She returns holding a box of Hello Kitty Bandaids.

“Here, Mama,” she says, “I got you a Bandaid – a HELLO KITTY Bandaid – for your boo-boo,” proudly she hands me a single bandaid from her precious collection.

“Thanks, Mimi-Girl,” I say, the tears, once again, falling from my eyes, this time, however, from the incredible sweetness of my children. “A Hello Kitty Bandaid will fix it.”

I allow them both to cover me with Bandaids – every mole, every bump, every scrape now carefully protected from the outside world.

“‘Dere, Mama,” she says proudly. “You’re all better.” She scampers off to find her Lego guys to play with.

My son, however, stays sitting upon my lap, twirling a piece of my hair absentmindedly as he thinks.

“Some boo-boos,” he finally says, “they can’t be fixed with a Bandaid.” He speaks with a wisdom far beyond his years.

“You’re right, my boy,” I say, the tears dotting his hair. “Some boo-boos are in secret spots. Hidden spots.”

“Where you can’t see them, right, Mama?” he asks, without really expecting an answer.

“Yep,” I say. “Some boo-boos are on the heart.”

He looks at me thoughtfully before scampering off to a drawer, where I can hear him rummaging around, looking for something. I turn back to my game of Tiny Tower in the vain hope that my broken heart will soon feel whole again.

He whirls back into the room, a mess of elbows and knees, and clamors back onto my lap, where he elbows me in the sternum, leaving me momentarily breathless.

“Here,” he thrusts a piece of paper into my hands happily. “It’s for you.” He then hugs me so tightly I feel like I might burst and watch as he climbs down off the couch and off to find his sister.

I look down at the paper, curious as to what he would have given me.

Painstakingly, he’d sketched a heart in the center of the page and signed his name in a loopy, scrawling way that only a five-year old can. The tears begin again, but this time, they are happy tears.

He rushes back into the room, his sister and their Lego people in hand.

“See, Mimi? I fixed Mama’s heart.”

And I marvel at them, as they dogpile on top of me, at how I ever got to be so lucky.

Comments

comments

30 thoughts on “What Was Broken Is Now Healed

  1. Sometimes, it’s amazing, simply amazing, at how insightful our little ones are, even at such young ages. We’re so busy trying to take care of and preventing their future boo boos, while they are silently studying us trying to fix ours. You’ve got some amazing kids there; that’s how you know you are doing right by them!! HUGS!

  2. This is absolutely beautiful and made me cry, damn you AB! You’ve got some special little people right there. Hugs xx

  3. Stop chopping the onions, you assholes!

    Seriously, Bex…I will one day come to your house and give you the biggest goddamned hug. ever. I know it won’t compare to your awesome children’s hugs, but damn I give good arm! You’ve got the best kids ever.

  4. So sweet it breaks my heart! You are so loved, my dear. By them, by your many readers and friends. It’s just too bad that all the love in the world still can’t mend us when we’re really broken.

    You have amazing children. And they have an amazing mother.

  5. Dammit Becky. You’ve got me all teary-eyed. I come here for dick-in-a-box jokes not touching gestures by your adorable children! Ok ok fine I come here for both.

  6. Fuck, now I am crying!! Your children’s empathy says so much about them but also about you as a mom!!! You totally deserve them!! You obviously taught them what care, concern and healing is about.

    This reminds me of when I worked at a daycare center and taught 2-3 year-olds. One day, I was really sad and kept trying to hide my pain in front of the kids. Sammy (he was just shy of 3) came up to me and asked, “Are you sad?” I said, “Yes, Sam, I am.” He said, “You need to see ‘Silly Dancing.”” I asked him what that was and he proceeded to flail about in the most uncoordinated way. I laughed so hard that I did end up crying. Tears of such great appreciation for this little man who has been on the planet less than 3 years yet diagnosed and treated me better than any adult could. Hell, he was the only one who even noticed I was feeling down!

    I am sorry you are hurting and I pray for your healing.

  7. As a Mama to two kids very close in age to yours…I get it. Your kiddos are so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes. XOXO hope your heart is on the mend.

  8. You respond with amazement when the kids reflect back to you what you give them. I wonder why??? Your compassion is known world-wide, Becky, give yourself the credit for where these young ones learned their empathy. Wonderful contributions to our gene pool.

  9. I had this beautiful comment all ready to go and then I got something in my eye and I can’t really see the keyboard to type anymore. Love you all.

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