When I tuck my son in at night he asks something like... "Does Olivia go to school in the morning?"
Honestly, he's happy either way... if she's going or not, because they are very close. That being said, when I reply, "Yes, Olivia's got school in the morning," his smile stretches from ear to ear. He knows it's our special time together.
Yesterday was one of those days. When I came in from getting Olivia on the bus, Zachary was still standing at the window, with a slightly sad look on his face. His eyes quickly lit up as I asked, "Well, what are we gonna do today?"
It was then that my expression changed, as I remembered it was time for my yearly TB test and flu shot at the hospital. I stooped down and said, "Would you like to help me be brave today?" His eyes were big as he quickly replied, "Sure Mom! Why do you need to be brave?" So I told him. He looked up at me with that sweet little smile and said, "It'll be alright. I know you can do it... just don't cry like this ~ Wah! Wah! Wah!" We laughed and laughed...
One thing about where I get my shots, is that it's right across from a koi pond. The pond is maintained and decorated through out the year... but the main attraction, at least for the little ones, is the train that goes around the display. My son loves trains, and just about anything else that has an engine for that matter... so I knew he'd LOVE it.
I rested my hands on Zachary's shoulders and looked him in the eye. I told him about the train, and that we'd see it, but that first, "Mommy needs her shots." Out came that big grin again as he nodded enthusiastically.
We arrived at the hospital, and Zachary eagerly unbuttoned his seat belt and jumped to the pavement. "Remember what we said about the train?" "Sure do Mom!" He reached up to grab my hand as we walked to the entrance. Along the way he asked questions about the people we saw... "Are they sick? Why are they here? Why are they leaving?..." I just smiled and gave simple answers, which seemed to satisfy his curiosity.
We entered and walked down the hallway. He looked up and said, "Mom, I know... shots first, then the train, right?" I just hoped he'd really remember those words when he SAW it.
He did! He looked for a split second, and asked, "Is that the train?" He took a deep breath, put his hands on his hips and said, "Okay, well you gotta get your shots now." We walked through the door and immediately he started chatting with the nurses... introducing me and himself and telling them why we were there... all of course, while flashing his sweet smile.
We went in to a little room, and as the nurse prepared the shots, my son stood watch over me. He analyzed every move she made. I got the flu shot first. I don't know if he saw that or not, because I didn't look that way (I tense up if I watch). As I was getting my bandaid, Zachary said, "You did really good Mom, I'm proud of you!"
I said, "I'm not done... I get one more shot." I could see him for this one. I told him to look away, but he covered his face with his hands and peeked through his fingers, which made me smile. When it was over, he had this amazed expression as he said, "Mom... you were really brave." He held my hand then gave me a hug...
We stopped to see the train on the way out, as promised, and he got to push a button to make it go. He asked, "Do you see this train all the time??" I do, but actually I usually look at my reflection in the glass as I pass by instead of the train. Now I'll look down at that train instead, and think about my Zachary.
As we left hand-in-hand, my little guy looked up at me with that sweet smile, and I said, "I love you." He replied, "I know, Mom."
What a perfect answer to this brave... and proud... mother's heart.