One of the things I miss the most about having a toddler around the house is the spontaneous and exuberant affection.
As a toddler, Sean was given to fits of passion. Without warning, his teeny tiny heart would seemingly erupt with unrestrained and irrational love. All that slobbery affection had to go somewhere and I was his favorite target.
I miss the days when he would stand in my lap, giggling and bouncing on fat little legs. I miss how he would wrap his ams around my head and gnaw on my face. I miss the leg hugs.
It seems the days of unfettered expressions of love are gone forever, but every once in a while one will come out of no where. And it’s like getting a bonus — a little end of the year reward for all the hard work of motherhood.
Last night Sean and I were sitting side by side on the sofa reading through a stack of Christmas books. He had already had his bath and was in his robe and jammies and was extra warm and snuggly and smelled of lavender shampoo. Y’all, that is like catnip to a mommy.
The book we were reading, Santa’s Stuck, always sends him into fits of snorting giggles. I started laughing at him laughing. And then we were just laughing and had no idea why.
When I closed the book and set it aside, he threw himself into my lap in a fit of passion. He wrapped his arms around my neck and chicken pecked my face with kisses while making chomping noises.
He was two again.
Then he stopped and pulled back. He looked into my face, his eyes still sparkling.
Then his expression changed. The moment was over as quickly as it had begun. My six-year-old was back.
“Stop goofing off mom,” he said seriously as he rolled out of my lap. “Let’s read another book.”
Maybe if I keep up the good work, I’ll get to stay on. And maybe I’ll get another bonus next year.