“I’m sorry to hear that, Hon.” It took me by surprise, saying that to a child who was not my own. The words, though, came easily. I am thankful for that.
There was a time I couldn’t imagine being comfortable enough to use a term of endearment with anybody. It seemed so natural for some people. Surely it would sound fake, coming from me. And then there was a man who called me Dear. Later on, children, whose breaking-in to my life produced rivers—torrents—of special names. Even when they aren’t so sweet. Maybe especially because of the un-sweetness that marks some days, that laces through all of us.
Breathtaking, how a life can expand and contract, sometimes all at once.
And now, habit, and age, and expansion-and-contraction—and the words slip out, Honey, Sweetie, Love. I never would have believed I was the type, but it sounds different coming out than I thought it would. Not saccharine, not flowery. Simply recognition: You are precious. You are what I love, contained all in one spot. I refuse to forget.