Have you ever heard that song “Always have to steal my kisses from you”? Even if you haven’t, the line I just quoted is pretty self-explanatory in regards to what the song is about.
That song is Baby Girl’s theme song. About HER. I always have to steal my kisses from her. Ok, maybe not always, but a majority of the time.
I don’t know why. I used to ponder the possibilities – attachment issues? control issues? bad breath? But a few months ago I decided to stop pushing. Stop begging. Stop asking. Stop chasing. Stop bribing (yep, I used to bribe her sometimes for a hug and a kiss). I resigned myself to the possibility that I might just have a child who was not affectionate, and I would have to learn to live with that and accept it. And love her just as much without getting any physical rewards in return.
If you love something, set it free.
And guess what? It came back.
Into my arms. Sometimes. With unrequested hugs. Sometimes. Unsolicited kisses. Sometimes. “I love you’s” at times other than when she thinks she is going to get in trouble. Tiny shuffles towards my affection.
What a lesson for me, demander of what-I-want-and-give-it-to-me-right-now. Not the first one my baby has taught me, and I know it will not be the last.
Stop pushing for what YOU want mommy – and maybe you just might get it voluntarily. Said the voice in my head that was feeling rejected.
I hope I still remember that voice when she’s a teenager.
This morning, I managed to get her to school before the 1st bell rang. I kissed her goodbye at the Kindergarten gate and got the usual motionless body and face (at least she’s stopped pushing me away like she used to). Her posse of friends were calling to her from inside the gated play area and she ran off to enjoy a couple minutes of fun chasing them before the bell rang.
As the kids all lined up to march into the classroom, Baby Girl turned around to see if I was still waiting against the chainlink fence, watching her, as I normally do. Of course I was and her face lit up when she realized it. Then, the most amazing thing happened. She called out to me:
“I will miss you today, mommy!”.
And she broke from the lineup of her classmates to run to where I was standing with her arms outstretched for a hug. I squatted down and puckered my lips through the hole in the fence closest to her sweet little face, where her lips were waiting for mine and we kissed. I told her I loved her and she skipped back to her class and marched into school without looking back.
It’s a good thing she didn’t look back. I couldn’t contain the love bubbles flowing from my eyes. The other moms discreetly turned away, I think a few of them with a tear or two of their own.
Love DOES conquer some things. You just have to step back and let it do its job silently without demanding anything in return. And keep loving, no matter what.