She's tucked in to her bed, snug after her father has spritzed her pillow with the magic sleep scent and kissed her. She's waiting for me to give her the nightly kiss and declare my love and best wishes for good sleep.
She brightens immediately when she sees me enter the room. "Mommy! I only need to find one more and I have them all!"
She's 8 and 3 quarters years old. She's growing into a young lady faster than I imagined she ever could; reaching milestones and doing things long before I ever did. In many ways she's always been wise beyond her years, compassionate, kind and thoughtful when children her age normally wouldn't.
She's prone to crying jags without warning these days. I understand this, though I probably went through this stage a couple of years later. Such is youth these days I suppose. (Is this another symptom of being OLD?)
I'm writing too much. I'll continue with my story otherwise...
She's talking about her lovies.
I made all of my children lovies as they were babies. I made them with cloth diapers, satin blanket edging and embroidery floss. When the kids were infants and nursing or bottle feeding, we'd hold a lovie next to our bodies while the babies drank their milk. The satin edging was soothing, the cloth diaper breathed well in case the babies put the lovies over their faces. The babies bonded with the lovies as security objects without fail. To be honest, I was amazed how easily all three of my kids attached to the lovies as comfort objects.
I'll be honest. I laughed a little when she said she only needed to find one more. "I think I put it away because it was falling apart too much." I said it easily, not knowing.
"Like this one?" she asked, holding up another of the original lovies I'd made for her about 8 years ago.
"Yes," I answered. "I wanted to keep it from falling apart too much." I found myself repeating myself (ha ha). "I put it with your baby stuff to keep."
The tears fell fast and unexpectedly.
"You should put this one away too Mommy. But I'll miss it."
You never realize the power of love infused in seemingly insignificant objects.
"Will you put this in the fire safe Mommy?" I recently showed the kids where we keep important papers and things.
"We'll see." I couldn't think of a better response. I was taken aback by her emotional reaction to letting one of her lovies go. How powerful. How beautiful. I created this attachment object and her reaction to letting it go has (I suspect) less to do with the object itself than it has to do with letting go of a part of that early attachment to me and to her father.
I tucked her in bed as she sadly handed over the lovie. "Why don't you sleep with it one more night?" I suggested, my heart breaking just a tiny bit for the rite of passage I didn't know I'd have to deal with.
She wiped her tears with the beloved lovie and snuggled into her pillow. I kissed her cheek, told her I loved her and closed the door behind me.
Several minutes later she appeared at the top of the stairs.
"Mommy? Do fire safes always keep the things inside them safe in a fire?"
Heart. Breaks. How hard it is to watch my kids grow...and I have so much more to watch.