Outside, it is icy cold, but pouring rain. Joey is snuggled tight against me, we are signing to Signing Time together. He is home because first he had a cough, and the day he went back to school, he got a tummy bug. I've kept him home after having to pick him up from school yesterday. He seems happy, smiling, but the fact that he is curled on the couch this time of day and the circles around his eyes tell a different story.
"A. This is A, Mommy," he shows me the letter. Rachel announces a new sign, "imagination." We haven't used this sign in a while, he proudly imitates it. "Look, Mommy, 'imagination'! Make a 'B', and circle it around like this." He does this, and realizes it is not quite what Rachel was doing. "No, make a '4'. Like this, Mommy," he patiently shows me, waits for me to imitate him. We sign it together, beginning signing the song that goes with it.
"Look, Mommy, 'pretend.' Do it this way." He gives me some hand-over-hand help. Then he touches my face, since his hand is already there. "I love you, Mommy." He's been saying this a lot lately. He find the expected response to be comforting. I don't blame him.
"I love you, too," I reply, not out of duty, but- as usual- because it is true. "You are awesome."
"I am good at signing, Mommy. I am a good signer. I am better than you!"
"You are a fabulous signer, my love."
"I love you, Mommy."
"I love you, too."
"I can teach the babies sign, Mommy. I am going to teach the babies sign."
"I think you would be excellent at that, sugarplum." He smiles, snuggles, starts going through the alphabet. He gets distracted part way through, shows me a few more signs.
"I love you, Mommy," he says again, absently, watching his fingers form the shapes as he settles in closer to my side.
"I love you, too." I sign it, he sees it in the corner of his eye.
"You are so very loved, Mommy."
"You are, too."
He gets up, goes to his computer, and starts making videos of his signing. The break is over, he's back to busy.