It seems he was born to the wrong mother, the way that we clash so. But, it's what we've got and man, do I love the heck out of him. Despite the number of times we eye each other warily and brace ourselves for another round of the disagreement du jour, I know he knows I love him. In fact, it's sort of a competition. The very end of bedtime always involves a back and forth over who loves who more. We get creative.
"I love you more than chocolate, coffee, and shoes!" I scream.
"I love you more than melted cheese and sharks!" he screams back.
Sometimes we travel. "I love you to the center of the earth where there is molten lava and temperatures you could not stand!" I proudly claim.
"I love you to infinity and beyond and beyond and beyond!" he states knowing there is no way to top that.
No matter what we say, he's got me. As I am leaving he always says, "You will never win, mom. No matter what you say, I love you more." He snuggles down with a big grin and drifts off completely satisfied with trumping me.
I don't tell him how wrong he is. How can his eight year old, little-boy self possibly get the depth and breadth of a mom's heart for her child? As much as I feel mystified and bewildered and frustrated and off-course, I feel committed to loving his little being in ways I don't even get.
After a final good-night, I walk out his door with my own smile of satisfaction. I let him win and...I always will.