I was sitting quietly at the kitchen table last week, having some cereal and reading when my four-year-old approached me and tenderly said
“Mom, you’re my pride and joy.”
My senses sharpened and there was some fluttering in my chest. Did he just tell me he loved me ever so eloquently? I just about dissolved into a puddle right then and there. I felt so loved. I pulled him in for a squeeze and I told him he was my pride and joy, and that I loved him bigger than the sky. It was so very sweet. As he walked away from the table, I swear I glimpsed a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
Later that week, we were together in the car driving to preschool, and he said it again. I was touched. I gazed lovingly at him in the rear view mirror. I was so impressed at his articulation, and the fact that he was expressing his feelings for me in such a grown-up way. Like the Grinch, my heart really did grow three sizes that day. I couldn’t wait to share with someone how deeply my boy loved me.
Later that same week the family was together in the van. I heard him utter that magical phrase: “You’re my pride and joy,” only this time it was to his sister. I thought, “Wow, that’s so sweet!” and then she burst into a fit of laughter. He followed suit. The giggles continued, and I was confused; thrown off by the apparent humor of such an endearing remark. I focused on the back-story, as she explained to me that she had been singing a camp song, part of which includes the lyrics “he is my pride and joy,” and my gushing-with-love son wanted to know what “pride and joy” meant. In an attempt to disinterest him from the romantic implication of referring to a boy as your pride and joy, she took this opportunity to teach him a proper four-year old definition of pride and joy: stinky cheese. I knew I sensed that glimmer of something afoot… Just call me Momberger. Or Cam-mom-bert.