I suspect it will be a long road until I can consider my children little people in their own right. I infrige on any concept of personal space as habitually and joyously as if their beauty was my own. I kiss, pinch, squeeze, inhale, and slobber my way all over their sturdy, shiny little bodies, from their sweet-smelling clean hair to the damp kisses to be found behind each ear. To my credit, my wee victims are at least willing and seem to enjoy it (for the time being). Still, I know I can’t go on taking our physical relationship for granted forever.
Tonight I am lying next to Sophie and telling her a bedtime story (made up in my wee brain) that is so gripping her eyes widen and fill with tears; when the story resolves, her brow relaxes and she smiles softly, her eyes dark with the fancies of imagination.
We are quiet for a minute. “What’s Mama’s favorite part of Sophie?” I ask. I am wondering the same thing myself as I study her face – so well-known to me it seems we never existed separately.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what you mean. You tell me.” She looks up at me, puzzled.
“Here. My favorite part of you; I think it would be your lips.” I say, knocking my knuckles against her chin gently. She shakes her my hand off, then looks at me critically.
“My favorite part…” she says, as her finger reaches toward my face and she studies me closely, “my favorite part is… in here…” her fingertip slowly but inexorably pokes into the corner of my eye. “Way in here.” She grasps my wrist and squeezes. Then she sits up, leans forward, and holds me close:
“I like all parts… All parts of your skeleton,” she tells me, firmly decided.