Today on the playground, I noticed Abe standing at the bottom of a slide screaming up at some bigger boys at the top. I called him over to me. He trudged my way with shoulders down, Charlie-Brown-style. He said they'd been making fun of him for sucking his thumb.
So it begins.
I guess I sort of liked that his response was to yell back at them, despite their being older than him, bigger than him, and at the top of the slide with him at the bottom. I also admit to liking that he let me pick him up and walk with him out of sight of the big boys while he rested his face against my face with his thumb back in his mouth. I told him about how this is one of the reasons we've been telling him that he should reserve the thumb for the bed. As I'm telling him this, he looks at me sort of googly-eyed, leans forward and kisses my nose.
Substitute "father" for "mother" and "daughter" for "son," and you've got my feelings for my son. Sometimes, it's a literal ache in my chest, my love for this boy.