Around 5:00 a.m. I heard Charlie get up and make his way to the bathroom. I fell back into a light sleep because he’s beyond needing help anymore… there IS a God. I guess it was about 15 minutes later when I opened my eyes and realized I hadn’t heard the toilet flush, hands being washed, or the door open.
I jumped out of bed with visions of the flu ((insert scary music)) bouncing around in my head.
“Oh please God, please don’t let it be the flu…. please, please, please, oh please…”
I opened the bathroom door and there sat Charlie on the toilet.
I said, “Sweetie, what are you doing in here?”
Charlie looked at me as if I were the villiage idiot and said, “Peeing.”
I said, “You’ve been in here for a long time… are you having a problem?”
He said, “Nope. Just taking my time and thinking.”
I said, “Oh, okay… well, why don’t you go ahead and flush and wash your hands then.. if you’re done.”
He cocked his head to the side and said, “Mom?”
I said, “Yes.”
He said, “What’s that face?”
I said, “What face? What are you talking about?”
He said, “Look in the mirror… what’s that face of yours?”
I turned and looked in the mirror and said, “That face is worry.”
Charlie said, “Worry? Are you in worry?”
I said, “I was. I was worried about you because you were in here for so long.”
He said, “Oh… worry….”
I said, “It’s okay, I’m not worried anymore.”
He said, “Then stop that face mom.”
I said, “Oh… sorry.” I smiled and said, “There, is that a better face?”
He said, “Yeah. But do that worry face again.”
I looked worried.
Charlie said, “Okay. I see. I like that one. I’ll try it sometime.”
A few hours later we were back in the bathroom for the morning ritual of getting ready for school. Charlie was brushing his teeth and I was tackling the massive cowlick on the back of his head. I glanced down at him and noticed he was staring at me - his eyes to my eyes. I smiled at him and went back to combing his hair.
A few seconds later I realized he was still tracking me with his eyes - he was watching my eyes. I said, “What are you looking at buddy?” He said, “Nothing.” He went back to brushing his teeth and I went back to slicking down the cowlick.
I was trying to act cool, but inside I was exploding with joy. You see, Charlie has decent eye contact, but he doesn’t normally focus on faces or eyes so intently. He’s usually focused on watching himself make faces in the mirror, not watching my face or eyes. Yet, the entire time I was combing his hair he was looking at me. He was tracking my eyes with his eyes.
I finally laughed and said, “What?”
He said, “Mom, what is that face?”
I said, “You mean the worry face?”
He said, “No. I’ve got that one. I mean what is that face you are doing now?”
I looked at myself and said, “Well, that looks like love to me.”
He said, “Yeah, it’s love… watch.”
He looked at himself in the mirror and adjusted his eyebrows, relaxed his eyes, and put on a slight smile. He then looked up at me and said, “Love.”