Every night we take turns reading to the kids.
I read to The Rooster when K reads to the Mayor and vice versa.
Without fail, The Mayor is always disappointed when it is my turn to read to him.
He prefers his Father and he is not shy about making that clear.
Tonight, after I read our customary three books to The Mayor (and then some), he said,
"Dad will read to me tomorrow night, right?"
I looked wearily at my son.
"Mayor, why don't you like it when I read to you?" I asked in earnest.
He studied my face.
"Well," he said. "I do like it a little bit when you read to me."
"What don't you like about it, Mayor? Am I doing something wrong?"
"No... it's just that when Daddy reads I like it a little bit better."
"What does he do that you like better?" I asked.
The Mayor paused, studying me.
He seemed to measure his words.
"Well, I just love him a little bit more, Mama."
The color must have drained from my face.
"It's just a tiny bit more, Mom," he said gently.
Reaching up as high as he could, he said
"I love him this much."
Then he lowered his hand some.
"And I love you this much."
I pushed everything down and back and under.
"Time for bed now," I said.
After I tucked him in, I had to lie on my bed and cover my head with my pillow.
The squeezing sensation in my chest felt like someone was trying to fit my heart into a box much too small to contain it.