This necklace has rested over my heart for almost a year now, and in that time it’s come to symbolize so much more than a Mother’s Day gift from my 3-year-old.

I can still relive the moment my son rushed through the door and handed it to me, a grin plastered on his face after his daddy had taken him out shopping one-on-one.

I immediately loved it. The sapphire in the heart’s center matches my wedding ring and the earrings my husband brought home with him from deployment.

My son could hardly sit still, clamoring loudly in his little boy voice as he gave me a card that opened up into a bear hug.

The day I put this heart over the one beating in my chest, something changed.

In the weeks and months that followed, my 3-year-old noticed every time I took it off. His round blue eyes would grow sad, and I would rush to explain I had left it in the bathroom or my bedroom. I would assure him I was keeping it safe, and I’d put it back on as soon as possible.

RELATED: One Day, I’ll Put My Arm Around a Man and Wonder Where My Little Boy Went

My son’s stubby fingers would caress it as he asked me to play with him. He would clutch it as I prayed with him while putting him to bed. A gleam would enter his eyes as he held it while being scolded, knowing his momma would ease up after she looked down at the chain around her neck.

If only he knew how much I love it, too.

The other day, he caught me with a different necklace on. While I was putting him to bed, he grabbed it and said, “Mom, you got no heart.”

I paused, “Daddy gave me this necklace.”

He shrugged and tilted his neck, “Aiden give you a necklace.”

I smiled. “It’s in my room.”

After comforting him with the knowledge I would put it on while he was sleeping, he went to bed. But our conversation stayed with me.

Somehow, this little necklace has come to symbolize our love for each other.

Its shape reflects the way he’s always taking care of my heart.

Every week, sometimes multiple times a day, he’ll ask me if I’m happy or if I’m OK. He offers me hugs without hesitation. He always wants to snuggle. He loves having me as his hide-and-seek partner. And when I put him to bed, he makes sure to tell me he likes me as well as loves me.

RELATED: Mothering Boys is a Work of the Heart

He’s four now, and I’m beginning to understand so much more about him.

The way he notices the little things.

The way he needs to make sure his gift is still important to me. That he’s still important to me.

Somehow, this necklace has grown into an emblem of the man he will become.

He takes care of my heart, and I know one day, he’ll find another woman to care for.

Another girl to give gifts.

Another person he’ll share smiles and hugs with as they laugh, cry, and grow together.

I’ll watch as he’s attentive to her heart.

A knowing gleam will enter my eyes as they fall for each other.

When she walks down the aisle, I’ll look at my beaming boy standing proudly at the front of the room.

RELATED: I’m Raising My Sons To Love Their Wives More Than They Love Me

I’ll clutch his daddy’s hand, and as tears brim in my eyes, I’ll hold on to the little sapphire heart lying against my chest.

I’ve had this necklace for almost a year now.

In that time, I’ve come to recognize my son takes care of the hearts around him.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Rachel Weidner

I'm a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home writer, coffee drinker, and book hoarder. I love taking pictures and eating chocolate. Writing helps me stay sane, so I blog about motherhood, marriage, faith, and everything in between. You can find me on Facebook at Forever Dreaming Writing by Rachel or on Instagram at @rachelweidner_foreverdreamingw.