"Mama, I'm gonna marry you."
Sweet little boy words pouring from his tender heart straight into mine... daily.
And then the day came that he wanted to make sure I knew how earnestly he yearned to know that I would be his and he would be mine forever... that no one else could possibly ever be more important, more beautiful, more loved in his eyes.
He studied the plastic seal from the milk carton. Small fingers drew it from the cool of the counter. Little legs not yet tall enough to reach on their own hop down from the stool. Bare feet pad across smooth wood until they meet my own. He takes my hand and glides the white ring onto my finger. Tender little cheeks rise in a sunlight smile. Expectant eyes search mine. "Mama, will you marry me?"
"Precious one... when you are all grown up, big and strong, if you still want to marry me, ask me again."
"I'll still want to. Will you dance with me?"
He holds my hands and gently sets his little feet atop mine, as we've done many times before, and we dance. Circles swirl about the kitchen to the music we can but hear in our hearts.
"There. We're married. I love you."
Now I watch him draw in thinned, blushing cheeks above a stronger jaw at the glance of pretty young girls smiling with bright eyes. He looks away, pretending not to notice. The plastic ring rests in my jewelry box. It seems but days ago.
"Mama?" he calls before he reaches that last step. "Mama, I'm gonna marry you when I grow up."
Eyes filling, I smile a heart smile. Warm and knowing and oh so blessed. These moments are precious, fleeting. I drink them in slowly, painting them upon the canvas of my mama heart.
He pulls himself up into the chair, nestling snugly into my side. We marvel at a super hero pop-up book... where the good guys and bad guys are so easily known. He lays his head on my shoulder and draws the blanket tighter. I rest my cheek upon still damp, silky strands. He strokes my arm as I begin to sing softly in the dim of home. We reach his favorite song. Eyes still closed, his little voice joins mine, "Jesus loves me, this I know..." His fingers wrap around one of mine, just as they did when he was but an infant sleeping cradled in my arms.
One day, my little men, I pray for you someone extraordinary, gift priceless, who will be most important, most beautiful and loved unconditionally in an entirely new way. Your forever pearl. And I will love her, as I love you.
But until then, I am honored to be your princess... and you, sweet ones, are my knights.
I love you,