Landon was enjoying his first sleepover at our house. His cousin agreed to come over and do us the honor. They had such a great time: making mice cookies and playing games and making each other laugh. Avery calls Landon "Buddy," so the house was filled with buddy-this and buddy-that as she tried her best to manage her little cousin. So cute.
But then the middle of the night rolls around and Avery wakes up crying because she is stuffy and misses her mom.
I hear him ask her, "What's wrong with you?" more puzzled than empathetic.
I go out there to do what I can by way of comfort and tissues. "Avery's just a little homesick, honey."
"Mom," he tells me quite decidedly, "It's not a sickness. And that whining is getting a little annoying."
Wow. I see a bright future in medicine with bedside manner like that. I get everybody settled back down after several earnest pleas that Landon should just be quiet and then I go snuggle back into my own bed.
"What's wrong with him?" I ask Bill. And I mean how he seemed to not have any inclination to comfort or empathize with his cousin, whom he adores, in a moment when she was sad.
"He's a boy.
And he's three,"
he answers without hesitation or concern.
Then he rolls over and turns on his magic sleep button and is out before I'm done pondering the implications of his answer.
But someday he's going to be a man, I think. Who are we raising?
But then I think about the dear man next to me who would do anything in his power to comfort me when I'm sad, even when he's powerless to change the circumstances. I notice how even in his sleep his hand has found me to gently rest on my leg. I think about how he and Landon have brought me breakfast in bed this week just because I'm worn out, run down and pregnant. No holidays involved.
So I decide to trust Bill's assessment.
Landon may not have warmed my heart with his gentle kindness.
But he is a boy. Who is three.
And we have some time to work on the project.