I've waited 5 years to hear those lovely words directed at me.
While still in a zone of incredulity, I got a little greedy and prompted him to say "I love you Mommy". He repeated it, laughing as if tickled by self-discovery.
Earlier in the day, he threw several more nuggets of gold my way after years of our prospecting in muddy waters:
* When I cracked open an egg & as soon as it landed in the frying pan to sizzle, Gregory goes "Wooooowww!", right on cue. Something about that observation-reaction sequence was so wonderful, so normal -- a departure from the directionless jargon, singing & chattering that you might get from him.
* When he came to me to see if we could go to the basement to retrieve some yogurt in the fridge down there, I said NO since we were out of them. ...Pause... "What about chips?", he says. Shazam - I couldn't believe it; where'd he pick up that to say??? He'd usually just echo what I last said, not formulate a whole 'nother sentence.
* He usually engages in parallel play with his brothers & sister, and only plays "with" them if they spontaneously get up to run or play tag, or some other physical game. Today he played catch with his sister, throwing the ball to and from each other. Pure simplicity. To the untrained eye it was as ordinary as air, but to me, it was significantly different -- there was literally a back-and-forth element to this type of playing. Beautiful to behold. Nevermind that the video clip I captured of him doing this shows he is completely naked after his bath. :)
Well it feels like we're starting to amass more & more of these instances, like little flecks of gold or precious metals, enough to be able to solder into a growing chain.
Happy Mother's Day to me :)