And the night before he became Five, he put his hand on my cheek and smiled up at me from his Thomas the Train pillow.
He looked so very old. I bent down to him and hugged him. I said, “I wasn’t a mommy until you were born. You made me a mommy.”
He smiled, “You’re kidding.”
I wasn’t kidding. I was serious.
He stopped smiling for a second and said, “Well, I know mommies always tell the truth, but it’s just really hard to believe.”
So this mommy laughed and started to name the things she was before she was Mommy, but he got bored with the list of things that mean nothing to him and asked for a back scratch.
So the night before he became Five, I scratched his back and sang two long songs, gave five hundred hugs and made sure the night light was plugged in. Then I did it all over again for the younger brother.
I collapsed into my bed sometime later, realized I forgot to eat dinner, and smiled in the dark. Five years ago was a hungry night too. Being a mother can make you hungry. However, it also makes you tired. So I curled up under the blanket and fell asleep. Hungry, tired, and happy.