I took my sweet, snugly, oh so kissable, almost 4 year old on a date to McDonalds for lunch. Picking him up out of the car, I asked if he wanted me to carry him in through the wet slush, wondering if he was "too big". He wasn't.
We ordered and walked to his choice of a booth where I sat across from him. Looking directly into his bright blue eyes that shone with excitement, I grinned as he gobbled his chicken nuggets and savored his M&M rainbow-stained ice cream.
Sometime between the gobbling and the savoring, I noticed them.
50 something with salt and pepper streaked hair. Listening, smiling.
20 something with dark hair. Animatedly talking.
Both had the same straight nose and long legs.
A mother and her son.
She smiled at us, her eyes moist. Possibly remembering when that son was almost 4, at McDonalds with a rainbow stain on the front of his shirt.
We locked eyes, understanding. In that moment I could hear a mother's heart.
Soak it in. He's growing up fast. Keep dating him, making him feel special. Keep loving him. Keep learning about him. Keep listening...
I watched her sip her coffee and listen, as if she had all the time in the world, while her son shared and shared and shared. I want to be like that. Sipping, listening, learning, loving.
We got up to leave, and I asked if he wanted me to carry him. No, he'd walk this time. He put his hand in mine and we walked. Together.