Last night, after a day we spent the together, just the two of us, my twelve-year-old son walked over to me and put his arms around my neck. He hugged me. It wasn't the usual half-goofy, see-if-I-can-break-Dad's-spine hug. It was a real hug, his head, sideways, weighing warmly on my shoulder.
He's an intense kid who literally walked on tip-toes for the first few years of his life; he's a strung bow, this boy.
Last night, his heart and head were quiet. His bony shoulders were loose.
As he hugged me, he said, "I love you." Not, "Love ya." No silliness nor any casual tone of saying goodbye or goodnight. He said it because he felt it.
He crossed a room to hug me and to tell me he loved me.
What did this all cost me? Lunch, a movie and five hours of my time. (And 90% of my soul's energy, passion and worry during all of my waking hours -- which all becomes nothing at moments like this.)
This is life. I want for nothing. Nothing.