"Mama! Mama! Owie!" he cries, pointing to his elbow.
"Oh, you got an owie? Do you need a kiss?" I ask.
I kiss his little elbow, he cuddles and pushes his face into my neck. After a moment, he hops down and is off to play again.
Such a normal scene of a mom with her toddler. A normal scene that has taken quite some time to develop at our house. For his first year or so of life, there wasn't always someone around to kiss N's little owies, to comfort him and hug him. There were other babies who were also crying, and not enough hands to hold them all. There were the basic needs to see to: the diapers, the feedings, the dressing. Not nearly enough time to hug and kiss an adventurous little baby boy every time he bumped his head.
So when he became our son he didn't know. He didn't know that if he cried we'd always come, if he bumped his head we'd hug and kiss him. Slowly, slowly, he is learning. He now believes I have the 'magic touch', for I make owies feel better. Though I can't make the pain go away, the hug and kiss are a comfort.
Where he once wouldn't receive hugs from me and certainly wouldn't give them, he is starting to lean into me. He's starting to feel secure. He has a knowing that he didn't have before.
"These are my people. They love me. They take care of me. They help me."
Oh, so much time and so much work goes into helping him to truly learn this fact. But it is coming. Slowly but surely he is learning that his Momma loves him and will take care of him.
As he walks around the house singing,
"Mommy loves you, Mommy loves you [Name]..." to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?" I smile and think, "Yep. Someday soon you'll really believe that Mommy loves you, little boy. Someday soon."