I had been watching them at my distance for several minutes and the little boy (who I found out is 3 years old) ran back to his Daddy to play some more and I felt Cole's arms hugging me around my thigh. No big deal, he always does that - but I looked down at him and he was watching the father and son playing also. His eyes were burning a hole into the two of them. He looked up at me with a somber little face and those big brown eyes, no smile, saying nothing. But his eyes told me something I had been fearing for almost two years now... "I wished my Daddy didn't have to die because I miss him playing with ME like that Daddy over there does". I put my hand on his head and fixed his hair and scratched his back like he asks me to do when he's sleepy. He didn't move and held onto my leg, but he turned hs head in the opposite direction and began looking behind us. Then I picked him up and held him as tightly as I could without hurting him. He hugged me around my neck and laid his head on my shoulder.
The air stopped moving and I wanted to scream. It all got very real for me again and I felt the tears coming BIGTIME - but I maintained my composure. I tickled his belly and he started smiling and laughing. The bell rang and we waited for Illeigh to come out of the door, and when she did I made them race to the car to beat the traffic ::coughcoughDIVERSIONcough:: and we came home. Cole wanted to watch a Barney video, so I set it up in the VCR. Then I promptly went to the bathroom and fell apart.
Our lives are all very different now since Shane died, but there is always that empty space in my heart that I can never fill with anything but the love from this amazing little boy who more and more reminds me of his father every day.