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5:37 am and Ryder bursts into our room as though a pack of rabid wolves are chasing him down the hall. “I need to use the bathroom,” he says unreasonably loud. A moment later he is standing beside my bed, staring at me with his beautiful brown eyes, and hesitating to say whatever he needs to say.

I assume he wants to get into my bed and is afraid to ask. Instead he whispers inches from my face, “You are mine.” Then runs out of my room with the same urgency which brought him in. Oh my goodness, my son really, really, loves me! I couldn’t wait to share the news with B. I’ve always known Ryder and I have something rare — a very special bond.


His loving declaration was my greatest distraction that morning. When B finally awoke I couldn’t wait to tell him about Ryder’s endearment. B smiled and called our son over and asked, “What did you say this morning?”

Ryder replied, “I asked mom a question but she didn’t hear me. So, I said, ‘Nevermind,’ and I went back to my room.”

WHAT?! No! Impossible! Is this a joke? What a colossal misunderstanding. What wishful thinking.

B is still amused, I am crestfallen and that word, that terrible word, has been stricken from our lexicon. I never wish to hear it again.