I Love You Through and Through

Last weekend we had a horrible evening. Cameron and I just seemed to clash on every move, he dug in his heels and was classically stubborn and boundary-challenging for his age, and I insisted on maintaining those boundaries. It wasn’t pleasant for either of us.

That night I chose a book to read to him, something I don’t normally do. It’s usually his choice what we read at bedtime. This time I wanted to read a sweet little book called I Love You Through and Through. It talks in simple, lovely language about how a mother loves not just the happy and sweet sides of her little boy, but also the other sides. The mad side and the crying side. A mother loves her son. Every part of him.

Today was horrid.

Not in its entirety, as there were good times as always. A high point today was Cameron joining two total strangers at a table, attractive women both of them, and telling them they were “Hot ducks.” I asked him when he returned to me, just to be certain, and he quacked and flapped his wings to confirm that he did not mean hot dogs. And it was hot like my coffee. He wanted to go back to say hi to them again, and I followed. Best as I can tell he learned the phrase “hot chicks” somewhere and this was his interpretation, but I don’t’ see that as being a part of daycare education. So I’m puzzled.

Anyway.

Tonight was full of time outs and crying. Add that to the screaming hour, and I had a pretty unhappy little boy. We snuggled on the chair before I started on the two books he had chosen for tonight’s bedtime story, and I told him about the things we had done that made me happy today. I asked him if anything made him happy today. “No.” I shouldn’t have expected a different answer.

I cuddled Cameron and we talked quietly a couple more minutes, and then I read the first book, not paying attention to what the second would be as I was kissing his head. The Night Before Christmas came first, and he snuggled down on my lap to listen. There, I said, the end. I closed the book and reached for the next.

I Love You Through and Through.

Cameron wrapped his arms around my arm as I opened the book, and quietly said, ‘Yeah.”

We read it three times.

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