A year ago, just as Sean was learning to walk, he was my lover boy. He always had love for Mommy — precious sweet toddler affection, which expressed itself in many forms, but always with slobber.
I never dreamed how much I would appreciate someone standing in my lap and sucking on my nose. Or slobbering a slimy river of drool into my ear while chanting in baby baritone “mahmahmahmahmah.” Until one day, it happened no more.
The more Sean perfected walking, the more independent he became and the less affection he had for me. Unlike San Franciso in 1968, this has not been the summer of love. I’ve had to beg, bribe, and barter every kiss from that boy since June. But, I’m not above that. I will grovel.
Since September, Sean has moved on from walking and running to more advanced skills like flinging himself from furniture onto other furniture, or unsuspecting people as they pass by. The good news is that the change of seasons has returned my lover boy. This fall, brown is the new black and the leg hug is the new nose suck.
In a fit of inexplicable, irrational exuberance, the leg hug is launched when the hug-ee is most vulnerable and least expects it. Which makes it all the more delicious.
Yesterday, as I leaned over the back of the sofa in the proctologist’s position to grab a pile of laundry I had just folded (so that “someone” would not unfold it) I heard the slip slap of little Robeez clad feet charging in my direction. Before I realized what was happening, I was tackled from behind and goosed by a little boy face squealing “Mahmeeeee!” into that dark and scary place. Had this happened in public and by anyone else, sexual assault charges would have been filed.
Likewise, the other day when I picked Sean up from school, he seemed particularly thrilled to see me. In a flurry of coats and papers and kids, he ran towards me and fearlessly flung himself onto me as though he were practicing a gymnastic vault off the springboard. He nailed his intended target, my crotch, and locked his arms around my posterior.
From below, I heard a muffled “Mah-Mah! Mah-Mah!” When he finally looked up at me with those big blue eyes and raised his arms to be picked up, I saw that he had left behind his calling card — a big wet snotty spot on the front of my jeans, which in some circumstances could be hard to explain.
But I didn’t care, because I knew that one day too soon, it would happen no more.