I get notes from school about shared hugs and kisses between he and his classmates.

At night he nuzzles into our necks for hugs and then sticks his face out for kisses.

When he thinks we’re upset, or if we’re pouting and pretending to be sad, he pats us on the back.

And then, the other day, I was ill.

I was slumped down in the chair feeling chilled and nauseous and achy. Jon brought Marshall over to me, and he plopped down on my lap. I told him hello and that my belly felt bad. He leaned over and kissed my belly. Then he climbed down from the chair and headed to the kitchen to get me the “boo boo whale” from the freezer.

This child, who is sometimes the king of the wild things, is such a sweetheart.