Leaving for work this morning went something like this:
My husband, who works from home, rises from his desk to peck my cheek and says, “I love you to pieces.”
“Pieces?” my almost-five-year-old repeats with a scrunched forehead, as he rolls the expression around in his head.
My nine-year-old, throwing on his backpack in a flurry as he zooms out the door, pauses mid-stride at the threshold and remembers to say, “Love ya, Mom!” (I fasten his cape around his neck and watch him fly out the door.)
My seven-year-old, who at school has earned the nickname “Miss Bossy-Pants,” dons her backpack with precision and stops at the threshold to make her declaration. “Mommy, I love you more than God. And nothing can beat that!” (I secure the medal on her blouse, hand her a baton, and move aside as she marches out the door.)
My almost-five-year-old surveys the scene in silence. He lifts his backpack, hauls it over one shoulder, then the other. He steps carefully to the threshold and turns to me. He tugs at my sleeve, to pull my ear down to his lips. He whispers, “I love you more than God-y God-y God!” He smiles triumphantly. (I straighten his halo, kiss his golden cheek, and gently urge him out the door.)
I pick up my laptop bag and pause at the threshold. I am reminded of a million thresholds in my life and decide that this moment is not one of them. This one I’m keeping with me.
I step out – whole – into the dazzling bright February day.