Wednesday it was cold and damp and rainy. Everything, including my mood was gray, as though someone had pulled the plugged and drained all the color out of my world.
As I’m driving Sean to school, the noise of tires swooshing through the water and the rhythemic scrape and skritch of my windshield wipers are the only sound in the car.
I pull up to a stop light and look in the rearview mirror at that little boy, snuggled into his car seat. He is thoughtfully tracing the path of a raindrop with his finger on the window. For some reason, the profile of his face peeking out from the hood of his coat is so sweet that it pricks my heart. I feel my heart swell and my eyes begin to sting with tears. He doesn’t know that I am watching him.
“Sean,” I hear myself say, “I love you so much, so much more than you can even imagine. I know you are only four and you can’t really understand that.”
“Oh,” he says quietly without diverting his gaze from the window. “I understand.”
After a long pause, he asks, “Does Daddy love me too?”
He knows his daddy loves him. I’m not sure why he is asking this question.
“Oh yes, Sean, Daddy loves you so much that sometimes it makes him cry.”
Long pause. I can see him thinking.
“Does Daddy love me more than you?”
This time the long pause belongs to me.
“Well, Sean, things like love and pain are not really quantifiable. Daddy loves me from the wife bucket and he loves you from the little boy bucket. And those buckets are bottomless and always overflowing.”
“Well if you get a hole in your bucket,” he said, “then I will give you some love from my bucket.”
Sometimes the things he says, makes my brain stop. Makes my heart stop. Makes my world stop.
Just then the car behind me is honking loudly and angrily. The light had turned green. The tears that had gathered in my eyes quickly evaporate.
I push on the gas and move forward into the world of gray, except for the very bright spot of sunshine sitting in my backseat tracing a raindrop with his finger.