First, let me just say that purchasing a Costco-size bag of Hershey's miniatures is not conducive to reaching my summer weight-loss goals.
Second, I haven't been writing much about Addie lately, but there has been this major transformation that has happened really slowly. Now that it has occurred, however, it is hitting me in the face. Or, I should say, kissing me in the face. It is this: Addie has been climbing the heights of Mount Adorable. She is swimming the seas of the Affectionate Ocean. She has, in short, turned into a little lovebug.
It's not as if she was cold before. She always took hugs and cuddling, but I was typically the one to offer them and she sort of grudgingly put up with them. She didn't seem to really seek them out. This made me sad at first. I remember when Addie weaned from breastfeeding at six months. She was so tired of having to look at me. She wanted to see the world, wanted to roll around, bottle clutched firmly in her fat little pop-on hands. Little Miss Independent never really looked back after that.
Until now. Now she takes my face in her hands at night after story time and looks me in the eye, saying solemnly, "Mommy, you are such a good mommy." Now she emphatically asserts, "Mommy, I love you!" Now she trounces into the room, declaring, "I have an idea! How about a big family hug?" Then we must all form a tight little circle and exchange kisses and squeezes, which freaks Nolie out, seeing as she's her own Miss Independent, simultaneously reaching her arms out to be picked up, then pushing me away once she's there.
This is all fantastic, really. I love the affection, the butterfly kisses, the long cuddles and hugs and pronouncements of love. I'm glad that, at last, it seems my daughter notices that I exist in a way that is somehow separate from her own being. It is nice to not be taken for granted.
I wonder when the next stage will occur. Do you remember it, the next moment of individuation, the moment when you saw your mother as removed from you, and hated her for it? I remember it. I was maybe around 10, and was watching my beautiful mom put on make-up in the bathroom, and felt as if I was seeing her for the first time. I think it was the first time I really realized I didn't look like my mom, wasn't my mom, was a different person from her. And it made me mad. Those were probably the beginnings of adolescence right there.
So for now, I'll try to also enjoy it when Addie wraps herself around my ankle as I'm trying to move about the house. I'll try to appreciate it when she won't let me go up the stairs without her. And I'll just choose to believe every little sweet, love-filled, adoring thing she says to me now.
Can such things be banked?