Lucas holds my face in his small hands and tells me I’m his best friend, his sweet heart and his everything. He tells me he has hearts and flowers for me everyday. Always, always be with me, he says. And at night he tells me never to leave him, to always lay next to him. He tells me he had a bad dream that he was alone, trapped in a chocolate factory, of all places. Chocolate is his favorite thing, and still he emphasized that I wasn’t there. I hear this now, and I realize he’s had these feelings for a long time. Probably since he was born. This fear of abandonment or fear of being alone. He’s three and now able to articulate his thoughts very well, and he tells me he doesn’t want me to leave his bedside.
I think about those early days and months when all I ever wanted was to get away.
Now I let him sleep in our bed, wedged in between my husband and myself in our crowded queen mattress with two cats. I stay with him at night until he falls asleep. And when he calls me in his sleep, I run to him, so he knows he isn’t alone, not for a second. And in the morning, he can always have his glass of chocolate milk.