You wanted to play board games tonight. My day had been full of plans and to-do lists, but I had made a promise. Even I had to agree that it was a rare opportunity to play without little Miss Lily's stubby little fingers grabbing at all the pieces and parts or her insistence on playing a game that was way too difficult for her 5 year old mind.
We sat at the table, originally planning on including Sadie. One little meltdown before the first tile was played eliminated her from the table. There we sat, just the two of us. I saw the eagerness in your eyes. I saw how much this time meant to you. You had worked so hard this afternoon to help around the house. You wanted to help me with my job to guarantee my attention later.
Our game of strategy began. You were playing with as much skill as you could muster for a 9 year-old who had stayed up well beyond the usual bedtime the night before. Your yawns were another indication that the bed was calling you. Your little half smile. Your little quirky comments. I sat back and soaked it all in.
It was clear early on that I would be the victor and so I suggested that we simply stop keeping score. It would be nice just to play for the fun of it. You moved a little closer to me. I rubbed your head. You were content, despite a complete defeat, to continue playing...just to be with me.
You saw the tiredness in my eyes. You made the ultimate sacrificial suggestion to me. "Let's just put the game away and head to bed. It's ok, Mommy." My eyes watered for a moment. My sweet, senstive son. Willing to pass up what you had labored to ensure earlier. Just for me.