A Kind Soul

I know, I know, I know Owen says “please” because we taught him to say “please” and that he says “bless you” after we cough or sneeze or clear our throats or make any noise that remotely sounds like it deserves a “bless you” because he thinks it’s funny.

But still.

When I refill Sophie’s glass of milk and his sippy cup of milk because both are empty, he says “James, milk, James, milk, James, milk!” until we prove to him that James’s sippy cup still has milk in it and that he doesn’t need a refill.

I know he’s only 2 but I think—I think—he really cares. I’ve told myself many times over that I will try so hard not to be a bragging mom. Maybe this is bragging, maybe this is not. But this kindness makes me so happy.

I had to take Sophie to the doctor last Friday. Andy’s parents stayed home with Owen and James, who were napping. Owen woke up first; James stayed asleep. When it was time for James to wake up, Andy’s mom said Owen walked upstairs, went to James’s crib and then said, “Isn’t he cute?”

And then. A couple days ago, while the kids were playing upstairs, I was staring at my closet realizing that half of what was in it no longer fits. And the boys are 2. The whole “9 months up, 9 months down” thing has long passed. So I began trying things on. Making piles. I began feeling really bad about myself. Owen came into the room, climbed up on my bed  and flung himself on my pillows a few times. Then he looked at me. I was trying on a tunic—well, a dress, really, but I only ever wore it as a tunic. I was staring at myself in the mirror, biting my lower lip, not happy with the reflection. Now, I know, I know, I know Owen was reacting to the tunic—dress—only. It had a vivid design, bold colors. It was pretty. Still, when he said, “beautiful, Mama, you’re beautiful,” I froze.

Sometimes, when something beautiful happens, I stop. I try to engrave the moment in my mind. I try to remember everything, where I am, the time, my surroundings, the lighting in the room, everything. Because it’s that important. This was that important. To me. I stuffed his words into my heart, my being, even though I know he was reacting to the dress, not to me. Even though I know he had no idea that I so needed to hear those words, at that moment. Even though he’s only 2.

Women often receive compliments from loved ones when trying on clothes. I will forever remember this one as one of—if not the—best.

Owen, I hope you read this someday, when you’re older. Still a kind soul. Thank you for your kind soul that day. And may your soul remain that way, always.

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” —Seneca