Monday, April 9, 2007

tell the truth

"Mom, do you love my animals as much as you love me?" The first time he asked me that question, a few months ago, I told him the truth. I said that I liked them very much, but that I didn't love anything or anyone as much as I love him.

This was the wrong answer.

There were many tears, and it hurt his animals feelings and he really didn't understand why I couldn't just love them the way I love him.

He asks me every night at bedtime, or anytime he has one of his dearly beloved creatures nearby. Today he asked while we were snuggled on the sofabed downstairs, curled up under the covers with a fire going in the fireplace, watching "IceAge: The Meltdown" on the portable DVD player. Panda and Linky were under the covers with us, and he asked "Mom, do you love my animals as much as you love me?" And I said "Yes. I do. I'm so glad they're members of our family."

Here's what I didn't say:
I love them because they are yours. Because you give them your heart, and your heart is precious to me. I love them because they know your six year old secrets, and do their cuddly best to allay your worst fears. I love them because when they talk, they talk just like you. I love them because you've named them, each and every last one, and I remember ALL their names. I love them because they smell like you. I know this because when I pick them up off the living room couch, where you bring them to eat your cheerios in the morning, I give them a good long, deep sniff before putting them on your bed. They are your talismans, your charms and your snugglebuddies. They are as real to me as they are to you.

And I love them.

But not as much as I love you.

I'm trying, though. I really am.


suttonhoo said...

that picture and this post are such perfect perfect complements.

I love the way the little bear is whispering in his ear...

Anonymous said...

Love this. :)

Misty said...

I was just coming to say: Love this. :)

But someone stole my catchy phrase! Still, however kitschy it is...I really do love it.

anniemcq said...

thanks all for your sweet messages. I love this pic so much. Linky is the bear we got in Paris, and he's always looked well-loved. Joe-Henry talks to him all the time, and Linky even went to the wedding in my purse.

Franklin5 said...

Oh, my psychic friend: I cannot thank you enough for this sage advice. It's only been a few months since he came, uninvited, into our lives, but in that short time, we have been heading for a showdown with Purple Puppy.

Carter's requests are many. Can we kiss Purple Puppy good-night? And good-morning? First? Can we get him breakfast? Buckle his seat belt? Do we love Purple Puppy? Do we know how much Carter loves him? And on and on.

The truth? We don't really like Purple Puppy. We can't begin to understand how this ratty dog gained prominence among all his other carefully chosen stuffed friends.

But you put things in perspective beautifully. I'll be reading this to my better half tonight, after we kiss Purple Puppy (and his wonderful boy) a sweet good-night.

P.S. Love the picture.