Squeak loves me. He’s said it before, but in the way that small children parrot phrases that they’ve had positive responses to. He’d only known me a few weeks, so I responded kindly but didn’t allow myself to get too emotional (internally) about it.
Now I know he loves me, but he never says it. I know he loves me because he brings me things he’s made, even when something’s keeping me busy in another room. He wants to share his games with me. He trusts me not to be angry that I’m being disturbed for a moment to look at his costume, or a picture he’s drawn.
I know he loves me because he reaches out to me for support when he’s unsure of his physical ability. He trusts me to be there to catch, to support, to help him grow.
I know he loves me because he praises me. He shows his appreciation for the toys I make by hand by telling me he believes I can do almost anything. He believes in my abilities and my knowledge, but understands the logical limitations thereof. I’m his real and realistic hero.
I know he loves me because he involves me in his games, despite having another adult who is more involved in that moment.
I know he loves me because he asks where I am when Otter goes to pick him up alone. When told I’m not feeling well, he expresses genuine concern for me.
I know he loves me, but the last time he said so was last Summer.
He doesn’t need to say it. He shows me every time he visits.