"I really love you, Mama"

Those magic words to every mom—the ones that make us sit down and weep—are “Mama, I love you.”

Today my son told me just where I rank. Next to bedtime, my favorite time of the day is naptime, and this afternoon I sat in the recliner and read a book I’ve been wanting to get to while the short people of my house slept.

About 2 hours after laying them down, they slowly start to straggle from their beds and make their way down the stairs to find something to eat. First out of bed today was the 3 year old boy. He snuck down the stairs very quietly, in his mismatched socks and hand-me-down training pants with the pink and purple bows. His copper colored hair was messed and slightly sweaty, scrunched into a style that can only be properly called “bed-head.”

He sleepily crawled into my lap, put his head on my chest and settled into my arms. I savored the moment, as I know there aren’t many of these left as my little boy grows into a man. But this afternoon, he is still a little boy wanting his mama’s comfort.

After a minute or two of snuggling while I read another page, he put his hand (that vaguely smelled of play dough) on my cheek to get my attention. He looked right into my eyes and said, “I really love you, Mama.”

I smiled the smile familiar to all moms—the one that says you could float into the air, but instead you hold tightly to your little person and smile for them alone. I said, “Thank you, son. I love you too, very much.”

I kissed his hair and breathed in the scent that only a little boy has—something like sand box and outdoor smell mingled with kid shampoo and bubble gum.

Then he smiled from genuine pleasure, looked straight into my eyes again and stroked my hand as he said with honesty and true depth of feeling,   “I really love macaroni, too.”

My "little boy" will turn 17 next weekend. 
There you have it. I know just where I rank! Boy, way up there with macaroni! I feel deeply blessed.

Originally written in September 1997. Reflections is a section of the blog "Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch" that looks back at the time when my kids were little. I wrote for myself then--so I could remember some of the wonderful, cute and crazy things that they said or did. I hoped one day to share these stories and they fit into this blog beautifully. So I hope you enjoy them for what they are--a glimpse into my life a few years ago. I begin this section with my favorite story--"I really love you, Mama."


  1. I love this!!! I don't comment much but I always read your blog! :)

  2. Wonderful Debbie. Ryan and I are keeping a five year journal for each of the children we bought through Levenger. So far it is growing full of handwritten notes by Daddy and Mommy about something that happened that day or what they currently like or do. These are the moments to treasure. Thank you for sharing. :)


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