Terms of Affection
October 29, 2015
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My son and I have a game these days. I ask him where his belly is; with huge smiles he lifts up his shirt and points to or pats his belly. When finished he runs up to me, lifts my shirt and pats mine. Often he pokes my belly button, but sometimes my growing belly gets a hug. Little Man doesn’t necessarily understand what is happening, but he notices a change, and I think he senses there is something special about it. The depth of what he suspects, but cannot fully understand drives him to take initiative approaching my increasing girth randomly throughout the day; gently patting and hugging it before resting his chin on me and looking up with a beaming smile.
He is actually quite sweet with younger children, albeit the younger children that surround him are not all that much of a divide from his birthday. With his friend who is a month younger, I was surprised that they interact and play together; I always assumed exclusive parallel play at their age, but with these two, not the case. I could watch them all day. This friend of his can be rough; his pats bordering on excited aggression capable of leaving longer term welts, but my son rolls with the less than pleasant experiences without a notice.
Then there is the sweet little girl who is three months his junior. She is only starting to walk, but endlessly enjoyed chasing my little man, and Little Man enjoys being chased. It was obvious she was not the deft mover as he quite yet, so he would travel a short distance, stop, turn, and wait for his companion to gain some ground before charging off again.
Time will tell how my son will tolerate his baby sister. He and I are very close, so sharing me might cause an issue. But, I think to some of his sweet, touching moments with his peers or the ones when he exhibits patience and tolerance, and can’t help but feel excited anticipation with their future interactions. My son is such a tender, loving soul. It will do him good to expand his unconditional world just as his father and I have.