More Than Chocolate

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.


I take a break from reading, On The Road, and look up from the pages. I, too, once wanted a life where I can just pack up a bag and jump on the road without a plan. Now, my life cannot go a day without planning. My thumb between the pages, contemplating whether to go back to reading or to go to sleep, my eyes land on Lucas’s wooden cube learning center. The one where each side presents a different puzzle, instrument, or beaded wire roller coaster. It’s probably due to our fireplace, but the colors painted on this box never looked so vibrant. So rich and saturated. And so my eyes wander to the rest of my living room to notice the light from the fire bouncing off of all his toys like sparkling jewels. In the beginning, I dreaded filling our house with such colors. But now, the toys seem to blend into the room. Embedded within the sofa cushions, peeking from under the credenza. Piled high in a child’s treasure box. Continue…