I like to think that in some ways, kids are like pets. Yes, they both need to be taken care of, and they can get awfully messy and rowdy sometimes. But that’s not what I mean.
Have you ever had a cat or dog who seems to sense when you’re feeling down, and it climbs on or near you without a sound, and just sits there with you? Instead of doing its usual—nudge with a nose, push with a head, scratch with a paw, or even sitting on top of your reading material—the pet just seems to know that when you’re feeling a little sad, all you need is a bit of quiet comfort.
My kids were like that this morning. Both of them, independently, came bounding into the bedroom, all smiles and whoops of “Mama!” They gave me big, tight hugs, and kisses all over. And then, just as suddenly as it all began, without a word, they just seemed to feel something in me. Each one let his/her little body soften against mine, and became quiet. And like I said, this happened separately, spaced apart, so it wasn’t like they had planned this together. They just knew.
When you have a bond with your kids that goes beyond words, that holds you together in times of joy as well as sadness, when your kids have suddenly fallen into the age where they instinctively know that it’s not “All about me, me, me—sometimes it’s about you too” . . . that’s something pretty special.