I was still working upstairs when Jason brought Ezra home from school.
"He's asking for you," Jason informed me with a smile. "He made you something."
I went downstairs to find Ezra nervously pacing the foyer. He was clutching a piece of brown construction paper and some beads strung on plastic lacing cord. He beamed when he saw me.
"I made you necklaces, Mommy! Now you will look so beautiful."
He handed me two necklaces. "This is your snow necklace," he explained, pointing at the one featuring shiny, metallic beads. "And this is your beach necklace," pointing to the other.
"Thank you, Ez! These are so perfect. I love them!"
(His sense of seasonal style was, in fact, oddly on point.)
He handed me the card. His name was on the front, next to a squiggly shape with two smaller shapes inside.
"I drew you a heart. And we're inside the heart. Because we're in love."
I tried not to die while I opened the card, which was filled with nothing but long wavy lines.
"Those are words," he said. "And they say I LOVE YOU MOMMY SO MUCH FOREVER."
I was clearing the dinner table when Noah reached out from his chair to stop me.
"Wait, Mom! I want to give you a hug."
I know a good offer when I get one, so I put my plate down and wrapped my arms around him. He was on his knees and was slightly taller than when he stands, which is still pretty tall. He's up to my chest now. Hugging doesn't even require much bending over anymore.
"I love you, Mom."
"I love you too, buddy."
He pulled away and looked at me.
"Mom, will I still love you when I'm a grown-up?"
"Oh my goodness, I hope so!"
"I think I will. I think I will love you always."
He hugged me again. His serious face melted into a smile.
"It's a good thing I'll still love you, because I never want to break your heart."
(Too late, both of you! But in such a good way.)