Tomorrow is "ballentimes day" here at our house, and Jack had his party today at school. He didn't want to go (as usual), but was at least excited to hand out the handmade butterfly Valentines we made this week. When I arrived at the school for pickup, I was right on time, but a few mothers had beaten me there. I could see the distress on his face as he sat in the circle of waiting children, and mid-complaint to his teacher, he broke into a smile as he saw me appear in the doorway. He got up and ran to me, without getting permission first, and dove into my arms. As I scooped him up and hugged him close, he laid his pink cheek on my shoulder and began to sigh outloud with relief. I kissed him softly and asked about his day as I set him back down on the floor. He said "I had fun at school today, but then all the other big mommies were here and I got sad because I could not see you." The boys spent the afternoon playing together, and Jackson happily and graciously shared his lollipops and chocolate Valentines from school with his chocolate crazed little brother. We made a laminated placemat from the Valentines so he can look at them during snack times for the next few days, and they were thrilled with the final product.
Tonight as we tucked them into bed, Sam declared "I go seep in ma room," and began gathering his things to migrate back to his old room. Ryan tucked in Sam while I finished up with Jack, and as I whispered goodnights and blowing kisses into the darkness and pulled the door closed, Jackson began calling in a sweet and desperately quiet voice, "No, don't leave...don't go, please don't go. I wanna kiss you again before you go." I went in and bent down for my final kiss of the day, and his slobbery squishy lips pressed on me with the sincerity of childlike love.
After a few minutes, Sam began crying in his room for Mommy. I went to check on him and he peeked around the corner into the soft glow of my room, declaring "Mummum, snugga me in yor bed, mummum." I tried to be firm as I told him that I would snuggle in HIS room and that he needed to go to sleep in his own bed, but as he began pointing to the dreaded corner of his room and INSISTING there was a "scratchy monster" in the corner, my resolve melted and we moved back to Jackson's room with his bear, paci, and "shiny blanket" in tow. Jackson was laying diagonally across his little toddler bed with his feet dangling off the edge, face buried in a book. His face lit up when we walked in, and when I told him Sam had been scared in his own room and wanted to come back, a cheer of "YAH!" erupted. The troublesome twosome had been reunited. And that is what "ballentimes day" is all about...at least in our neck of the woods.