Love You More

Younger spent some of his Christmas break with his dad at the farm, chasing cattle in the freezing cold air. Apparently, for some people — I would venture to guess it is the people who don’t have to chase cattle every day — such activity is fun.

One day, on the way home, the two stopped by my work — a community computer center — to share their plans for the rest of the afternoon. And, although I recognized Younger’s chattering was somewhat subdued, I really paid little attention until I went to give him a hug.

His extended palm stopped me before I could get my arms wrapped around his shoulders.

Confused, I pulled back slightly to frown at him. Then I tried again. And this time met two extended hands, both waving frantically at me.

That’s when I remembered the teenage girls seated behind me at a few of the computers. So, I stuck out my hand for a handshake.

Only to have him rattle his head and skedaddle through the door and to the truck. And his father followed him, laughing all the way.

I comb my hair and brush all my teeth, just about every day. I really don’t know when I became this embarrassment.

But, later, at home, with no one watching, he gave me a hug. “I love you, Mom.”

“I love you, too,” I murmured, accepting the embrace without incriminations.

But then he said, playing an old game from his early childhood, “I love you more.”

“No, you don’t,” I gasped with pure indignation. “I will hug you in public. You will not hug me in public. Clearly, we can see who loves whom the most.”

“But, Mom,” he objected. “They wouldn’t make fun of you for hugging your son. But they will make fun of me for hugging my mom. So, it’s not the same thing, see? And it clearly doesn’t indicate that you love me more, because I love you more.”

And he skedaddled again.

Well, I’ll admit he does have the right idea on one thing…

If you’re gonna insult your poor, honorable, dutiful, tireless, loving momma…

Run.

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Public Displays

Even at the age of seventeen, Elder is still willing to dole out hugs in public. Younger, on the other hand, wouldn’t even let me walk him into the school building his first day of first grade.

So, yesterday morning, when I pulled into the circle drive of the Middle School, I reached across the bench seat of the truck to pat Younger’s shoulder in farewell. “Have a good day. I love you.” Then I added with a teasing sideways glance, “I guess you won’t let me give you a quick kiss, maybe just on top of your head there?”

“Uh, no,” Younger responded, reaching to release his seatbelt.

“I know,” I exaggerated a sigh, placing a palm against my chest. “It hurts my heart.”

Younger paused to stick his hand in my direction, offering, “Handshake?”

I pumped his hand. “It was nice doing business with ya.”

He grinned, clambering down from the truck. “Bye, Mom.”

I wonder if he’ll have the same aversion to public displays of affection on his wedding day and only share a quick handshake with his new bride.

Actually, now that I think on it, if I can’t get a kiss, she better not either.

Stop your laughing.