Your face is magic

February 20, 2016

Something awesome happened at my house this week, something I hope I never, ever forget as long as I live.

My husband has been working out-of-town for the past few weeks, which means I’m in single mom mode while he’s gone.

Things get a little hectic in the evenings, trying to get everything prepared for the morning the night before so we can get out the door in time for work and school the next day.

I make a conscious effort to be serenely efficient as I prepare the lunchbox and make sure everyone has clothes laid out so we can cram ourselves into them the next morning.

On the domestic goddess scale I aim for Mary Poppins but I land somewhere between Bridget Jones and the Absent Minded Professor.

My two boys don’t give me too hard of a time. They are generally respectful, eat their vegetables, and usually play well together.

But like all brothers they pick on each other sometimes, especially when it’s cold outside and they get too cooped up for too long.

The three-year-old whines, which makes me crazy. The nine-year-old imitates him, which makes his brother crazy. I tell the older brother to leave the younger brother alone, which makes the older brother crazy.

Soon we are all crazy.

This was the state we were in on Tuesday night when I was trying to get the boys to bed at a decent hour.

I was making sure the completed homework was in the backpack when I heard the most unexpected sound.

My older son was in his bedroom laughing hysterically, like he was being tickled.

I hurried into his room to discover him lying under his covers with his face turned toward the edge of the bed.

The three-year-old held his face in his hands. He was squeezing his brother’s cheeks between his little palms, muttering sweet nothings to him in a Kermit the Frog voice:

“Your face is so funny, I love it! It is magic!”

This of course elicited peals of laughter from his brother and me.

Anyone familiar with three-year-olds knows that the best way to get them to repeat something over and over again is to laugh.

And so the phrase was repeated ad nauseam, never quite capturing its initial hilarity but still pretty darn funny.

Most things, even the really funny things, aren’t funny anymore if they keep being reenacted.

But this one has definitely stuck.

“Your face is so funny it is magic,” has become an oft-repeated refrain at our house ever since the phrase was uttered.

Because really, it isn’t just funny. It’s also precious, and such a profound exclamation of love and joy.

It is hilarious, but also beautiful. It is a three-year-old’s way of saying, “I love you more than I know how to express.”

For me this silly phrase will forever be synonymous with happiness amidst chaos, joy amidst frustration, awesome goofiness, and the pure, unfiltered love of a three-year-old for his brother.

This article first appeared in the Lewistown News-Argus and the Sidney (Mont.) Herald on February 20, 2016.