“So—Then you fell in love and now we’re going to live happily ever after with him, right?” Her seven year old looked up at her with such hope that she had to smile in spite of what she was going to say.
“I’m sorry, sweetie, it doesn’t really work like that.” She tucked the comforter a little tighter around her son.
“Why not? That’s how it worked with Daddy, right? You met, you feel in love, you had me, and if Daddy hadn’t gotten sick, you would still be living happily ever after.”
“Who told you that, Drew?”
She made a mental note to tell her sister to be careful about what she said to her son in the future. “Ah—Well—It was nice of Auntie Chrissy to tell you a love story, but she does tend to simplify things, so try to keep that in mind when Auntie Chrissy tells you things in the future.”
“Oh.” Drew’s eyebrows pulled together in an almost perfect tiny replication of her late husband when he was thinking. “So, you didn’t love Daddy?”
“Oh, no. Sweetie, of course, I loved your Daddy. I still love your daddy even though he’s gone. It’s just not as simple as meet, love, baby, ever after. It takes time, and energy and everyone to be in the right place at the right time. And I just don’t know if I’ve got the energy or time for it all right now, Buddy.”
Drew nodded, but then sat up straight with an idea. She tried not to groan, knowing it would be just that harder to get him to fall asleep now. “Mommy, if I stop taking up all your extra energy–if I try to be better—will you try?”
“Hey—“ She convinced Drew to lay back down with a gentle push to his shoulders, “You don’t take up all my extra energy.”
“It’s okay. I know I do. Auntie Chrissy says I’m exhausting. But if I try, will you call Charlie back?”
‘You’re Auntie Chrissy is a gem, isn’t she?” She worked the blankets back around Drew, wrapping him a little tighter than was strictly necessary. “Why are you so insistent that I call him?”
“Because you smile more when he’s around. So, please, Momma, if I try will you try?” He looked up at her, and once again she saw his father in his eyes.
“I don’t know.” She leaned down and kissed him on the forehead, “I’ll think about it. But right now you need to go sleep. It is bedtime for exhausted and exhausting little boys.”
Drew gave her a self-satisfied smile. “See, I told you I was exhausting.”
“Yeah, Yeah. G’night, Love.”
“G’night, Momma.” Drew yawned, eyes shut before she’d even reached the light switch.