The days leading up to the day when I heard the best sentence ever were filled with tears. Tantrums and mood shifts hung in the air like burnt microwave popcorn.
I am in the middle of raising a three-year old boy. These moments are normal. Challenging, but normal. There is something that happens to a kid in their 30th month of life and it totally changes the way their brain interacts with their world. I happen to be extremely present in this world created daily by my brilliant little dude, so my perceived sensible world is definitely impacted by all his exciting brain development.
On the day of the beautiful sentence, I was in need of a break from parenting. I text my husband to say I’d be going out that night. For everyone’s safety and sanity. I don’t even think I had a plan. I just needed to remove myself from the life of a preschooler for a short while and regain my sense of humanity. As I stood there in the entryway of our home, zipping up my coat, these sweet words flew into my soul like a bird hitting your window pane: totally shocking.
“I love you more than candy!”
From the tiny little mouth of my first-born boy, who is now old enough to build flying trucks out of DUPLO blocks, and spread peanut butter onto toast, but young enough to have a melt down over the wrong spoon in his cereal. From that tiny mouth came words of raw truth. His heart’s voice reminded me of the deep connection we have despite the growing pains and emotional storms.
“I love YOU more than candy!” I said back to him as our blue eyes locked.
Over the next few days and weeks I hear his sentence when days are annoying. I choose to tell him I love him more than candy when what I’d really like to do is go for a long run around my neighborhood, and return home to a clean kitchen smelling like freshly baked chocolate cake. Instead I stick with it. I stick with him and with my people inside my home where love is growing, and yeah it’s not always sweet but it is better than candy.