Caleb: "Mom, something about my stocking is SO familiar to me."
Me: "You mean other than that you see it every year at Christmas time?"
Caleb: "Yes. Something about it really moves me."
Me: "Hmmm….is it something you experienced, something you saw, or something in your heart that's familiar?"
Caleb: "I think it's something in my heart."
At this point, I look over at Caleb and see his eyes welling up with tears. I put down the things I was working on in the kitchen, and walk over to him.
Me: "I can see it's making you sad."
Caleb: "No, Mom. They're happy tears."
I grab Caleb's hand, and we walk in to the living room and sit on the couch where we can see the stockings. I pull him into my lap.
Me: "Do you think you're the snowman or the teddybear?"
Caleb: "I really think I'm the snowman."
Since the snowman is the bigger of the two, I start to wonder if perhaps Caleb is thinking of Samuel. Samuel has been on his mind quite a bit lately, and he's shed a lot of tears for his baby brother in the last few months. I don't want to plant that idea in Caleb's mind, so ask: "Is it you with one of your siblings?"
Caleb: "No, I don't think so."
Me: "Is it you and Puppy?" (Puppy is Caleb special stuffed animal.)
Caleb: "That's what I thought at first, but I really don't think that's it."
Now Caleb's tears spill over and stream down his face. With more tears pouring and his voice cracking, he tells me: "Mom! I know what it is! It's me with my future children! That's me when I'm a dad!"
I am speechless. Seriously? What 8 year old cries (I mean really cries!) happy tears when he envisions being a dad someday?! I wouldn't believe it if I wasn't there witnessing it. The only thing I can do, because now I'm somewhere between a sob and a disbelieving guffaw, is pull Caleb in tight and wrap my arms around him. This kid's tender heart is something else. I cannot believe I've been entrusted with its care in his childhood. My, what a gift this kid is!
|Caleb's stocking is the 3rd from the left.|