Sometimes you just need a hug from the right person.
Today was that day. I was getting ready for work, the boys were watching cartoons, and Ian said goodbye to all of us and left for another day at his job. I heard his truck pull away, followed a few minutes later by little footsteps up and down the driveway. Then the footsteps traveled to the sidewalk. Then I heard tears.
I bolted downstairs to find Nolan bawling on the front porch. "Ian left and I wanted to give him a hug." More sobbing. I mean SOBBING. Break. My. Heart.
Of course Ian had said goodbye, but today, after he left, Nolan really wanted a hug from the guy. So we called him.
"Hi, honey. Are you on the highway yet?"
"Not yet, why?"
I explained the situation.
"Put Nolan on the phone."
Nolan took the phone from me, nodding his head a lot, wiping snot from his face, drying tears and nodding some more, with a few yes's thrown in for good measure, so Ian would know he was listening. He hung up the phone and handed it back to me.
"Well, what did he say?" I asked.
Nolan's voice was light and happy, and he skipped to the front door. "He told me to wait for him on the front porch!" Smiles. All smiles.
So my little Nolan sat there, in the middle of the porch stairs, watching and waiting for his Stepdaddy to drive down the road. He turned back to look at me a few times, since he knew I was keeping one eye on him out there. "He's coming, baby. Be patient," I reassured him.
And there he was. He pulled up in front of the house, stepped out, and Nolan ran to the truck, giving him a great big hug. A big, big, big one. After a few words and another snuggle, Ian was back in his truck and off to work. And Nolan was about 20lbs lighter in his heart.
He came back in the house, ready for a day of camp. Sean was sacked out on the couch, exhausted from waking up (and staying up!) at 3:30. Bad dreams about animal heads growing out of rocks. He was wrecked. Tired. Bumping into walls.
I sat down next to him. Nolan skipped around the house. "Do you feel better now, Nolan?"
Sean stretched and leaned toward me with a yawn, keeping his eyes on the TV, and draped a sleepy arm around me.
"Love you," I whispered, kissing the top of his head.
"Love you, too."
Never, ever underestimate the power of knowing you can count on someone to be there, no matter what.