Mitchell was very sick last week, so we didn’t get out of the house much. We spent a lot of time cuddling. Sick Mitchell just likes to be held.
One afternoon, Ashleigh, Mitchell and I were snuggled together on the couch, with Mitchell in the crook of my left arm. I had just gotten a new book, The Reading Bug by Paul Jennings, and had flicked to the end, which lists ‘brilliant books’ by age and development stage. I was reading the titles out loud so we could work out how many of them we had.
Me: Guess How Much I Love You?
Me: Miffy books.
Ashleigh: No but we’ve gotten them from the library before I think. Is Miffy the rabbit?
Me: Yes, I think so. My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes.
Ashleigh: No but (cousin’s name) has that one and we’ve read it before and it’s really funny.
Me: My First Board Books.
Ashleigh: We’ve got lots like that.
Me: One Woolly Wombat.
Ashleigh: Sunning by the sea! Two cuddly koalas sipping gumnut tea!
We continued through the books for babies (and owned most of them – forget chocolate; most of our household budget goes on books!) then moved on to books for pre-schoolers.
Me: Angelina Ballerina series.
Ashleigh: No, but I like ballerinas. Can we get some?
Me: We’ll have a look at the library. Berenstain Bears.
Ashleigh: No… ooh, yes, are they the funny bears that go out the window? Bears in the Night?
Me: Yes, that’s them! Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Before Ashleigh had a chance to answer that one, a little boy’s red locks entered my frame of vision. Mitchell climbed into my lap and looked expectantly towards the book I was holding, then turned to face me.
“Bear? Bear? Bear?”
His eyes were half-closed. His nose was red on top, and snotty below. He was coughing and sneezing and should have been miserable.
But he was smiling. He’d just heard the first line of his favourite book, and was expecting me to read the rest.
And because the moment was so beautiful, I did just that.
Earlier this month, Ashleigh was the one who was sick. She also loves a cuddle and a book to read when she’s sick, but mostly just wants someone near to comfort her.
She had a series of sneezes in a row. Achoo, achoo, achoo, achoo. I hugged her, got her a drink of water, then sat her down on the couch with a blanket and rubbed her head.
More sneezes came. Achoo, achoo, achoo, achoo.
And when they stopped, she reached out for a cuddle and said, “Mum, I really love you. I wish my sneezes said ‘I love you’ instead of ‘achoo’.”
Kids are funny. Sometimes you expect them to be gorgeous. You know that a heart-melting moment is on the way, and you’re prepared.
And sometimes, they hit you out of nowhere. BAM. Gorgeousness. Affection. Sweetness.
Have your kids squeezed your heart this month?
— Update 30.7.2014: You may also like to visit Beautiful moments part two (pictures) —