Today I spent most of the day with Mateo - alone.
My husband went to a college basketball game, leaving me to tend to the boy, and, surprisingly, I didn't hear "Dada?" too much during my husband's absence.
Mateo has a particular fondness towards the french fry, so I cooked up some in the oven, plated them on his barn plate, poured ketchup in one of the compartments on the plate, sat the plate on his bucket, had him sit down on the rug with me in front of the TV, and we both ate french fries. Complete happiness ensued.
At some point, Mateo decided he needed to multitask while eating his fries, and he got up to randomly play with the toys surrounding us. He would come back to the plate, gently pick up a fry, dip its tip in the ketchup, and shove the whole thing in his mouth.
He did this a few times.
Then, he picked up a fry, looked at me and said, "Thank you," with true sincerity. No prompting, no reminding, no bugging. Just a simple "thank you."
I told him he was welcome, and yes, a tears welled up in my eyes and I wished I had videotaped the moment, but being just that - a moment - there is no way to record them except in memories.
After eating his fry, he stood up, walked over to me, hugged me and kissed me. The kisses are relatively new, and we usually have to prompt him, so that part was completely unexpected.
And this tiny moment, this one little moment with my boy, is so far the best Valentine's gift I've received. Possibly the best gift I've received ever - besides having him in my life.