My children are accustomed to hearing me say things like:
"I can't be a horsie like daddy does or else I won't be able to stand up straight for months."
"You can NOT jump on me like that!"
"Can you pass me that pillow? Because I need to sit on it that's why."
"Be careful with mommy."
"Achoo!!! . . . oh shoot."
"No you do jumping jacks and I'll watch."
"Well daddy can do that because he's never birthed a baby."
And I think Bosco is finally starting to grasp just how much work, effort, and sacrifice went into bringing him here to Earth via my body. My ever-changed body that doesn't allow me to sleep on my stomach anymore, or sit on hard surfaces longer than ten minutes (thank you coccyx bone), do that pretzel move I used to be able to do, or jump up and down with too much vigor.
Yes, I think all my warnings and requests for tenderness and mercy have unintentionally formed a basic sense of understanding and gratitude in the fresh mind of my eldest son.
Because yesterday when he threatened to jump on my bad back and I emphatically told him not to, I think he saw that familiar grimace of anticipated pain in my eyes and instead of going ape on me, he stopped and asked me with all the genuine concern he could muster, "Is it because you had to get babies out of your tummy?" and I said, "Yes. That's one reason. Growing and birthing babies can be hard on the body. But if I hadn't done it then you wouldn't be here and that would be no fun at all. So you are worth it." To which he replied, "Yeah, well it sure took it's toll." Then he started laughing maniacally as he is apt to do.
I'm not even going to question how he knows phrases like "took it's toll" but I'll just take it as a sign that he is grateful and that he won't mind if I spend some of the money that could have gone towards his college fund, and spend it on a new plush mattress instead.
You know, for the bad back . . . that he was a party to.