Little Comforts

Little Comforts


Jane Hallowell was waking up slowly. She heard light speedy feet coming down the hall. In seconds, Rafe and Will were plastered against their mother. Jack, Jane’s husband was on a trip to London, the first one in several months.

Gently patting her little boys’ backs relaxed them and bought them all more quiet time and a coziness that Jane adored. Saturday was a present; Jane felt this through and through. She knew no matter how sad or upsetting things might be, her time with her boys made everything better.

Jane’s mother had recently and very suddenly died. They had all loved Gaga and missed her terribly. From the day Gaga died, Rafe and Will had cuddled with their mother as if they were on a mission. They often created little notes for Jane and, with their father, picked out tulips and roses to present with hopeful smiles. They left little painted hearts around the house and hugged her every time they saw her. They buttered her toast the second she put it on a plate, and even cleared the table when they could.

Lying there, sharing the bedroom air with her children, Jane felt her great fortune. The boys were breathing deeply against her nightgown. The sun was coming up. Jane’s heart felt soothed. She hoped she would always remember how dear Rafe and Will were to her, especially at times when they might need extra tenderness.

The boys were stirring. “Mommy, I wish I could make your heart happy again.” Rafe took his mother’s hand.

“Me too,” said Will softly.

“Boys, you are making me feel happier each day. I mean that. You’re my special medicine.”

Will ran down the hall and found a drawing he and Rafe had made when the night before.

“I love this.” Jane feasted upon the detailed crayon drawing.

“We drew you having a happy dream. Gaga is there and you are talking about planting a little garden together. We remembered how you loved doing that together.”

Jane put her arms around her little boys. “I am the luckiest mother in the world.” Tears streamed down her face.

“Mommy, are those happy tears?” Rafe asked gently.

“Yes, sweethearts, they are. Let’s go make the best breakfast we have ever had!”

Jane’s open heart set an example her little boys could easily and happily follow. Children are natural soothers. Given simple opportunities to comfort fortifies them too. The boys knew just how to show their love and Jane received their kind ministrations beautifully. The closeness of this time will stay with them forever.

Anne Martine Cook has 40+ years experience teaching nursery school children.