Baby G has had a hard time saying goodbye in the mornings (here’s the full Diva recount). Little Miss Independent has turned into a cling-on of grand proportions and I’ve accepted that we’ve entered the OMG-I-need-to-get-back-into-that-womb-NOW phase. After a few mornings of tears and trauma, her beautiful teacher sent the classroom copy of The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn home with her for us to read (wonderful book, by the way). She also sent home the Kindy‘s plush “Chester” doll for a sleepover.
If you have ever had a four year old, you can imagine the ENORMITY of this honour. Not every kid gets to take Chester home, you must understand. Chester, in case you’re wondering, is the raccoon in the book. See the sweet little heart in his paw? That’s the love that his mama raccoon left when she kissed his hand.
All together now: Awwwww.
Baby G latched onto the concept of the kissing hand and had the time of her life during her sleep-over with Chester. (As did Darren, clearly…)
This morning, as I was getting the kids ready for school, I drew a heart on Baby G’s hand with “Mum” written underneath it. I assured her that now – just like Chester – she would have a way to remember that she has my love with her all day and she doesn’t have to be sad. Her eyes lit up as she cradled that small chubby hand in her other hand as though it was the most precious treasure in the world. She grinned and kissed it and then kissed it again, then threw her arms around my neck and exclaimed, “THANK YOU!” with such fervour, it startled me.
I am always amazed at the impact that such little things can have on these precious babies of mine…how strongly I influence their world… the immense responsibility this puts on my shoulders.
Just before we all got into the car to go to school, Baby G came running up to me, eyes sparkling, a Cheshire Cat grin on her face.
“Mummy!” she implored, “Give me your hand!”
I crouched down, gave her my hand and waited.
“Now close your eyes, Mum”, she insisted, a serious expression on her sweet face.
Crouching on the floor, hand extended, eyes closed, I wondered what she was up to. I felt the nib of a pen touch my skin as Baby G began to draw, all the while insisting that I do not open my eyes.
Finally, she exhaled. “Okay, Mummy, you can look now.”
I opened my eyes to the sincerest smile on an angel face. She pushed my hand up to eye level and there it was: the sweetest gesture in the world.
“Mummy, it is a heart with the sun shining out of it, so you can feel warm and full of love when I am at school and you don’t have to cry because you miss me so so so much. It also has my name because then your heart can know who loves you.”
I became a mum under the misguided notion that we parents are here to teach our children how the world works and what life is about.
I had it all backwards.