It was early. 5 am early to be exact. Henry had arrived on her doorstep promptly at 4 that morning for their yearly Christmas morning walk in the snow. She’d been woken to his bouncing form shaking her awake and out of bed. Her initial reaction being panic before realizing his reason for being there. She hadn’t expected him to show up that morning and something tells her he knew it. But the surprise was certainly welcomed. More than welcomed in fact. Despite the late night/early morning, his beaming face following her around their large home rushing her to ‘hurry up and get ready before the snow stops' was the greatest gift she could have woken up to on Christmas morning.
And here they were, making their way down an empty dawn-lit path.
It was quiet. The only sounds that can be heard is the wind past her ears, the crunch of snow beneath their feet and the smooth, quickly deepening voice of her son beside her. He’d spent the better part of the morning talking her ear off. She’d listened and respond accordingly. Their conversational topics, probably mundane to most, stemming anywhere from his weekly activities at school to whatever crazy adventurous thing his favorite superheroes had been up to that issue (a conversation that would likely continue once they’d returned home to the gift she had waiting for him). It was ordinary but it’s all she could possibly want. It was silence filled with the only voice she cared to hear, and it was all for her.
He talked and she listened… that is, until she wasn’t listening. Simply staring, watching his fast moving mouth and accompanying hand gestures. It wasn’t until he stopped talking and looked up at her with a confused look on his face that she noticed she’d been staring and had missed the question he seemed to be waiting on a reply for.
“What?" the question comes out of his mouth softly. A simple question, no annoyance or anger lacing his voice but fear makes it’s way through her anyway. Scared of his reaction to having caught her ignoring him.
She stutters out quickly “I…nothing. Sorry sweetheart, I just…nothing. What were you saying dear?" She smiles and looks down away from him.
It’s quiet for a moment. He just stares up at her as they walk; her heart beating a little faster every second he doesn’t continue speaking. She finally looks over at him, just in time to catch a cheeky grin cross over his face.
“I missed you too, mom.”
That’s all it takes to get a teary eye and a bright smile out of her. They continue smiling at each other for a moment before she is wrapping her arm around him and kissing the top of his head as they make their way home with happy hearts and smiling faces.