Since last Monday, I've had some horrible stomach bug that won't leave me alone. At first I thought it was food poisoning, but when the rest of the family came down with it, I realized it had to be a virus. Everyone else has recovered lickety-split, but of course, the mom, the one who can't be sick, can't seem to kick it.
When Gage finished playing with Legos (many of which KJ had thrown onto the floor) and it was time to clean up, I made a deal that if they were clean before lunch, he could have extra playtime outside. "But don't worry, I'll clean up the Legos on the floor," I added. It was only fair; KJ had dumped them on the floor after all.
Anyway, I was in the kitchen getting lunch ready when I heard the tink-tink-tink of Legos hitting the floor. He was quietly pushing them from the chair to the floor.
This stomach flu has turned me into a waif of a human with gross circles under my eyes and like, zero strength. When I realized what Gage was doing, I started to cry. Who knows why.
"You know what, Gage," I sputtered, "I'll just clean them all. You go play. I'll just clean up the ones on the table and on the chair and on the floor. It makes a lot of sense since I also have to make lunch and I have to get KJ down for her nap and I have to feed Will. And then after that, I'll go throw up then do it all over again!" And so on, and so forth. Really maturely, you know? Like a mom who knows what she's doing.
Gage walked away, then came back a few minutes later and started lifting handfuls of Legos into the bin.
"I thought I was helping," he said quietly.
"Gage, it looked like you were trying to make less for you to clean and more for me to clean."
Hot shame burned down his cheeks and neck and he furiously wiped at the tears that were starting to come.
"That was - that was just a big mistake."
He nestled into my arms and summoning all of the little boy wisdom that he has, he said, "Mom, I forgive you. And I forgive me."