I heard his bedroom door creak open and his tiny footsteps padding down the hallway to the top of the stairs.
“Is Daddy here?” he asked, as he wiped the sleep from his eyes.
“No,” I replied. “He is at work.”
I watched as his little face crumpled and the tears welled.
“But he didn’t say goodbye to me,” he cried.
His expression was a gut punch. That was true, real sadness right there. Not a 5-year-old temper tantrum, but a deep longing in his heart.
I did the only thing I could do. I quickly ascended the stairs and scooped my not-so-little boy up into my arms. As I cradled him, his head resting in the curve of my neck, I felt warm, wet tears fall onto my shoulder.
I whispered words of comfort and held him close to me, chest to chest. I know it sounds funny, but I could physically feel our hearts connecting in that moment. It was as if his emotions were being transferred directly from his soul into mine.
The bond between mother and son.
And, like magic, a moment later the tears dried and he was ready for his morning chocolate milk and favorite television show.