Four year old Joshua is one of the most affectionate, sweet people that I know. He readily and regularly speaks words of love and affection. But on occasion, when I've told Josh how much he means to me, rather than reciprocating the affection, he'll simply share with me what's on his mind at the moment.
If you're reading these stories years from now, Joshua, I just want you to know that you're one of the most loving, affectionate children I've ever met. These two moments were simply moments of delightful, childlike honesty where, rather than you telling me what was socially expected, you shared with me what was on your heart. I loved these conversations. I loved them so much that I'm writing them down here so that I don't forget.
The Brown Blanket
Between the ages of 2 and 4, Josh had a brown blanket that he cherished beyond all other possessions. He loved this brown blanket of his. It was soft. It was cuddly. It was warm. He needed it every night to go to sleep, and every afternoon for naps. Each morning he'd come down the stairs with his brown blanket tightly wrapped around his frame. This brown blanket traveled with us on every family trip, and was a treasured item that we'll tuck away and save, so that Josh can pass it along to one of his own children one day.
His love for this blanket is the context for this story.
One night after bedtime stories I was tucking Josh in and, hugging him close, I whispered, 'I love you so, so much, Joshua James Galotti. I am so thankful for you, my son." Joshua rearranged his arms and hands around my face so that he could whisper a response. As his face came close to mine, as he leaned in close just as I had done, he whispered, 'I am so thankful for my brown blanket!'
One of my Favorite Things in the Whole World
The three kids and I were walking home from school. Ella was in the stroller, Jake meandered up ahead a little bit and, as usual, Josh walked along beside me, holding my hand. For a small guy, Josh has big hands, and I love the feel of them safely held inside my own.
As we walked, I found myself enjoying the feel of his hand nestled in mine, and I told him so. 'You know what's one of my favorite things in the whole world, Joshy? Holding your hand.' Giving my hand an affectionate squeeze, Josh responded. 'You Know what's one of MY favorite things in the whole world, Mommy? Motorcycles."