Tuck and I went on a date. McDonald's. He ordered (with coaching) and paid (with a gift card), and he carefully carried our tray to the table. A hamburger, fries, and the coveted item: a chocolate milkshake. It's really what makes it a date.
Never too early to teach a little man how to treat a lady.
"Tuck, let's chat. Let's play Questions."
"Okay, Mommy. I'm ready."
I love his little, proud smile. It's a subtle one, but moms know subtleties.
"Who do you like most in your preschool class?"
"I really like Chase and Max."
"Yeah? What do you like about them?"
"I like to play Monsters on the playground."
"Well, that sounds like fun. What's your favorite part of preschool?"
"Playing Monsters. With Chase and Max."
(I see a theme.)
"Is there anyone you don't like as much?"
"Amanda. She's too fluffy."
"Well, she might not be able to change that. It's okay if you like some people less than others, but try to be patient with the things people can't change about themselves. Fluffy is hard to change."
He offered the universal nod to maternal advice on friendship. We each ate a couple of french fries.
"So, Tuck, tell me something that makes you happy."
"Oh, me too, kiddo. Excellent choice. Tell me something that makes you mad."
"When Tyler takes my Transformer and says it's his."
"Fair enough. Brothers do that sometimes. That would bother me, too."
French fry. Milkshake.
"How do you feel when it snows?"
"Happy. I love snow."
"How about when it rains? How do you feel?"
"I don't like rain, but I do like a storm."
"Me, too. Thunder, lightning, all of that good stuff... Hey, Tuck, how do you feel when Mommy cries?"
"I feel sad. Because I know you miss Daddy."
"I sure do miss him. I cry sometimes because my heart is so very sad, and I wish he was here."
"But he's in heaven, Mommy."
"I know, kiddo. I love that for him. What do you think he's doing right now?"
Tuck eyed his milkshake. With a far away smile, "Maybe he's drinking a milkshake."
"He sure could be. They have the best milkshakes in heaven. I just know it."
He took a long sip of his, just for good measure.
"Tuck, does anything make you afraid?"
He thought. "When you cry."
"I thought so, kiddo. Sometimes you cry when you're sad, and I'm the same way. I just feel sad because I miss Daddy, but I'm still Mommy, and you're still safe."
"Do you have any questions you want to ask me?"
"I think I just really want to eat my french fries."
"Fair enough, kiddo. Let's eat."