At 45, I often look at my two youngest with a touch of sadness, knowing that they may very well be the last of our babies, and wanting to hang on to every adorable moment. Last night they were just being silly on the sofa together as the family was gathered for the rosary when Adrian came over to my chair and said quietly, "I want to stay little."
"Mommy would like that. But there are many great things about being a big boy," I whispered, trying not to interrupt Bret's recitation. I pulled him into my lap.
"No, I don't want to be a big boy. I want to be a little boy forever."
"But there are so many things big boys can do that you can't. You'll be able to ride the lawnmower. And the four-wheeler." There was a long pause and then a smile.
"Okay. I'll be a big boy. Some day."
As if that wasn't enough to make me weepy and sentimental, the little guy wanted to sleep in our room last night. Bret was on the computer, so I had Adrian climb up into bed beside me. He kept chatting and I kept telling him to be quiet. There was silence for maybe 30 seconds and then: "I love you and Una."
"And Papa?" I asked.
"Yes, and Papa and Sebastian and Gabriel and Dominic and you and Papa and Una."
"And we all love you. We love each other. Sometimes we get mad at one another, but we always love one another."
"Sometimes," he went on, "I'm naughty and you spank me."
"Even then I don't stop loving you, Adrian."
"I know." There was another pause, a fairly long one. Then he said, "Everybody who is in this house loves me."
Oh, baby, you'd better believe it.