I stood in the kitchen wondering if I should sweep the crummy, sticky floor or just lie down on the couch and call it a day. My kids whispered on the staircase after I had shooed them to the basement. Ben said, “I have to tell her.”

My six year old boy, hair disheveled and jeans slung low, shuffled over and planted his feet in front of me. “Mommy, I have to tell you something.”

“Okay, Ben. Lay it on me.” I expected a confession.

He took a deep breath and opened his mouth. “Mommy.” He couldn’t make eye contact and he appeared nervous, but Ben rarely looks me in the eye, so I let it go. And then I thought, is there a puddle of pee somewhere? Did he break my phone? No, not my phone.

“Mommy, you are my hero. You are brave and smart and you finished a whole book and that is hard work. I’m lucky you’re my mommy.”

He sped through his speech, threw his arms around me and hung from my neck. “You are my hero. I just had to tell you.”

“Benjamin,” I cried, “I’m the lucky one.”

He drew back and his eyes widened. My tears alarmed him. “They’re happy tears. You make me very happy. Thank you, thank you!” I smothered him with kisses. He dutifully let me kiss him, and as soon as he could, he made a break for it and ran to the basement.

One of the things I cherish most in this life is to be known. To have people in your life that just get you. You make sense even if you feel you don’t, and if you don’t make sense it’s not held against you. We’re not defensive. We’re not constantly explaining ourselves. I can let my guard down, I can settle into our relationship because I trust you. You know me and I know you. And in this knowing sometimes perfection happens.

It’s not that I’m a hero. I wasn’t waiting to hear those words. It’s that my little boy, who isn’t so little, more long and gangly, brought me perspective. It’s that he saw me for a few seconds, as his mom who cleans up after him and yells at him to pick up his Lego which has become a death trap to anyone that walks across our floor, and as a person. A person, a mother with feelings and goals and dreams.

We’re so busy and know so many people. At work, at school, at kids’ play dates and activities. We’re everything to everyone, so when you get to be just you and you are loved, regardless or ‘because of’, by those family members and best friends, it is gold.

Swept up

In you guys!! I was blown away and humbled by your kind words and encouragement after my last post (oh, the encouragement!!). I just want to say thank you for your being here and your belief. For taking me to a higher place.

This is how Benjamin looks most of the time: happy, even without the bubbles.

Again, photo taken by the fabulous Anastasia Chomlack

20 thoughts on “known

  1. Jojo

    I can’t imagine any better words to hear from your child. Brought tears to my eyes. Your blog made my day….big smile on my face!!!

  2. christy

    This post just made me go ‘awwww’ and settle into the couch contentedly, for you. How sweet and lovable and wonderful. I am SURE that I was not so wise or aware at his age. I didn’t see my parents as people independent of me until I was in college, I’m ashamed to admit.

    Also – I LOVE the photos. Annie, Ben, your profile pic. That was clearly a winning photo shoot! Love them so much!

    1. heidi

      That’s so true….I didn’t see my parents as people apart from me for a long time.
      Stace, my friend who took the photos, is amazing!! We had a lot of fun that day.

  3. Leslie

    This post spoke to me. Today is my birthday and lately life has gotten in the way of enjoying life (and this birthday) so this post made me take a minute and have perspective. Thanks!

  4. IntenseGuy

    He may be a “young un” yet, but he knows the “real deal” when he sees it. You are a hero.


    1. heidi

      He’s a sensitive sort of soul, so I think he often ‘sees’ things that others miss. He’s also very distracted and has a tough time listening, but he’s 6, so I’ll cut him some slack. 🙂

  5. A.J.

    Wow. That is one of those amazing things that kids say, one of those precious moments you think you’ll never forget. Most of us don’t record them, and many of us do forget. I love that you write and I love that we get to share it with you.

    1. heidi

      A.J.!! I love seeing you here!
      You’re right – it’s great to get this down on paper, so to speak. I rarely write down the funny or sweet things they say. And, like you said, you forget. Anyway…thanks for the reminder. I should do it more often. If not here, then on actual paper somewhere.:)

  6. Mary

    Oh Heidi!
    I’m in tears!!! You are a hero – you’re one if my heroes too. I am in awe of you. Proud of you. Thankful for you. You finished a whole book, and that’s hard work! That Ben’s a smart one (like he had a chance not to be!). I love you!

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