It's been a couple of weeks since I wrote the posts about Seth being able to express his heart full of love. Nothing has changed - he is a child who is different than mere months ago. Even my Mom said yesterday that he's different - that he even looks different.
I don't know how to describe it other than to say that he is freer. Freer to sing. Freer to laugh. Freer to relax. Freer to throw himself onto my lap and pull my arms around him, where he holds them to his chest. Freer to whine and slam doors because he feels safe to do so. Freer to call me 'mama' instead of the usual 'mom' and say it in the tone of a little boy who just needs his mama. Freer to sidle onto my lap at the dinner table. Freer to ask if I could feed him his breakfast from my hands. Freer to throw his arms around me and squeeze me tight. Freer to offer comfort if he thinks I've been hurt. Freer to listen and obey with gladness. Sooo much freer to kiss me...a hundred times a day may not be an exaggeration.
And yes, freer to tell me how he is feeling. About me, about lots of things.
This is a boy who is, simply, freer. He is making up for so much time. The time that he needed to arrive here.
I have heard the words of love from him at least a dozen times since that heart-full day, including three times just yesterday. Once, just over a week ago, while driving in the van, Seth asked what it had meant in church a few days before when someone had said that they adored God. I defined 'adore' for him as well as I could. I said it was about loving someone very deeply, fervently, with focus.
He said 'oh.'
Two minutes later, still in the van, I heard him call me.
"Yes Seth," I answered. "What's up?"
"Mom, I adore you," he responded, voice full of emotion and emphasis totally on the word of love. I looked at him in the rearview mirror and our eyes met. Both of us full of things too great for words. He smiled. I smiled back. When we got out of the van a few minutes later, I met him at the door and scooped him up and squeezed for just that little second. He knew.
Then on Thursday, another moment.
We were doing school at the dining room table and Seth was a little resistant. I asked what was going on, because motiving that boy to do school is usually not an issue. He climbed into my lap, knelt there and looked at me, reminiscent of the day at the pool when he first kissed me.
"You just don't know," he said, a little angrily.
"I don't know what?" I asked. I was genuinely puzzled. Had I forgotten something? Missed something?
"You don't know how much I love you," he responded. Just a little gruff. He stared at me. I stared back.
How much more can my heart take? I wondered. It's just too much to bear, somehow, though I know that must sound odd. It's overwhelming in its suddenness, though it's taken almost two years to get here.
I needed to find the right words, to find the right way to enable him to say what he needed to say.
"I wonder about that very thing, Seth. I certainly know how much I love you and it's that forever kind of love that has no end. But maybe I don't know how very much you love me. Can you tell me?"
"Guess," he demanded.
What was he looking for??
Suddenly I knew. I just knew. He wanted the game that he's heard me play so often with Matthew and Lizzie and that he's never been able to do with me.
"Seth, I'm guessing you love me to the top of your stand-up hair," I said to him.
"No," he responded immediately, disdain rippling through his voice. There was a sneer on his face. "That' not nearly high enough."
Thank God. He hadn't lost his intensity, which meant that I'd nailed what he needed.
"Ok," I continued, "I'm thinking now that you love me to the top of my hair, because I'm taller than you."
"Mom." Said with a period at the end of the sentence if ever I'd heard one.
"All right," I said, sighing with exaggeration. "Now I know for sure: You love me to the height of that light fixture hanging from the ceiling."
This brought a small smile to his uber-sober face.
"Mom, again." Said with a bit of humour...but not much.
This went on for another few rounds while I covered off ceiling height, his bedroom upstairs, the tallest tree in the yard, the street light outside, and the clouds way up high. Then I stopped.
"What could possibly be higher than that, Seth?" I asked.
"Mom," he said. Again with the disdain. "You know that it's even higher than heaven. Don't you know??? I love you forever and forever, and all the way back again."
The period of his sentence was the kiss he plastered against my cheek.
Forever and ever. It brings tears to my eyes just to write the words.
And people question the existence of miracles??