I’m trying to do sit-ups. I’m inhibited by three year-old Isaiah, who has crawled onto my chest and put his warm face against my neck. He’s crying in frustration with a shirt that he can’t seem to make fit right, but which he resists letting anyone help him with.
I wrap my arms around him. “Are you my sad little bear?” I ask.
“No,” he says. “I not a bear.”
“Are you my sad baby?”
“No. I not a baby.”
“Are you my sad little boy?”
“I not a boy.”
“Are you my sad Isaiah?”
“Yes. I Isaiah.”
I hold him tight against me, willing time to stand still. Soon he is smiling. Isaac joins us, and together the two of them try to emulate my sit-ups and push-ups. They chatter at me and fall against each other and roll under me and it’s quite clear that Daddy’s exercise time is done.
My body is not as healthy as I might be without them. But my heart, my heart sings.