gift from a Rainbow

I had such a great night with Rainbow last night. Sure, he’s a bit of a toddleriffic nut, prone to the Shrieking Flail of Doom when he doesn’t get his way, but he’s also getting funnier and sweeter and more articulate every day. Every hour.

I got in the bubble bath with him, which I haven’t done in a couple of weeks. He giggled with sheer delight and just wanted to hug and hug. He’s learning some restraint, too; he used to LOVE to fling bubbles at my face and plop them in my hair, which generally ended with me getting a little annoyed and then getting out of the tub. But he just did it once last night, and after one mild No from me, he was happy to put bubbles on my arms instead. Good little boy. He would go, Ohhhhhh, in his deep little voice, and then wrap his plump arms around me. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him looking at my face to see what my reaction was to our long hugs.

As usual, he was good about going to bed, largely because it meant he could get his hands on Binky and Soft Puppy, since they live in his room. We read Mother Goose (current faves are Jack Be Nimble and Old King Cole) and then he just wanted to rock quietly. Rainbow has a special appreciation for Soft Puppy’s ear, which used to be as soft as a fairyland cloud but, after a gazilion washes, now feels more like a rough towel. He curls the ear into a funnel and pokes his finger into it, strokes it on his face and exposed skin, and slides it between his fingers, all while contentedly, sleepily staring off into space. I’ve seen him get a little bonk on his arm in his room, and then pick up Soft Puppy so he can rub the ear on the boo-boo. Soft Puppy is totally sacred to him.

Anyway, I was rocking him in our comfy rocker-recliner, just enjoying the cozy, dark, bedtime room. I was thinking about how much I love him. Just how wonderful it is to love this sweet little being in my life. And then he took my hand and started to rub Soft Puppy’s ear between my fingers. It was one of the most tender things I’ve ever felt.

He’s reached this milestone that all parents want their kids to reach: he knows we are separate people, he knows that he loves me, and he wants to show me how he feels.

Sure, he won’t keep it in the forefront of his mind most of the time, but no one can, even grown-ups who love each other forever. But just to have that little gesture from him, that little gift of sharing Soft Puppy’s ear, touched the pool of my heart like a pure, gleaming raindrop.

I still feel the ripples.


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