Those two words formed Isaac's first sentence, in this epic journey we're on in pursuit of language. He began using this phrase a few months ago, and as rudimentary as it is, I was tickled to death, for several reasons. For starters, two words put together was HUGE for my struggling three-year-old. It seemed so monumental when only months before he'd had zero words to stand alone, much less put together. Secondly, it was so fitting that this milestone would come in reference to food. If there's one thing Isaac appreciates in life, it's eating.
And yet, he's the scrawniest little thing you can imagine. Mr. Smith often teases that Isaac must have a tapeworm, because that's the only thing that could explain where all the food goes. I know it's just a supply and demand situation, something has to fuel the boy who never. stops. moving.
He's the first one up every morning, even before the baby and I usually, and I almost always wake up to those words, "Mama, mee eeat". That boy wakes up hungry, and let me tell you, he better get fed quick or it's not going to be pretty. After breakfast, it's not more than an hour or so that goes by before he's coming to me again, "Mee eeat!", with an urgency that contradicts the bowl of oatmeal I know is still in his tummy. The same words that so warmed my heart in the beginning can also get on my last nerve when it's the hundredth time in the day. Such is the nature of mothering though, it seems.
Last week at Sunday Mass, Sebastian was wanting nothing to do with sitting in a pew, and everything to do with exploring the baptismal font, so I had spent most of the time walking laps with him in the social hall, trying desperately to hear Monsignor's homily through the tiny speakers out there. I went back into the church to receive Communion, baby still firmly attached to hip. Mr. Smith graciously motioned to me that he would take him so that I might have a moment to kneel and pray, and I handed him over with gratitude. I knelt down next to Isaac, who had just returned to his seat after receiving a blessing and watching his daddy receive the Eucharist.
He looked up at me, and I could tell right away there was something on his mind. He struggles so much to find words, I've learned to read his face when he's searching for one. He reached up and brushed my hair aside, tucking it behind my ear. Pulling me toward him, he touched his little lips right to my ear, and ever so softly whispered,
I looked at his enormous blue eyes as I leaned back, the sweetest of all questions looming inside of them, and I knew exactly what he meant.
My sweet son hungers for more than physical sustenance. Just like the rest of us, he hungers for Christ.