Katie is a kisser. She is by far the most affectionate child I have ever known, and I have to confess that I absolutely love it. This afternoon, Grace and I were hanging out in my bed, reading our books, when Katie came in for a snuggle and a million kisses. I was thinking that I always want to remember this phase of life; the adoration, the affection, the tickles, the sweet giggles.
"Did you know," I asked Grace, "that when girls get to be teenagers they sometimes start to dislike their mothers?" She had never heard of such a thing, and wanted to know why. I went into an explanation of how mothers and daughters sometimes had different ideas on what the daughters should be allowed to do, and that sometimes daughters get irritated with mothers, and vice versa, and that it can sometimes be hard for them to get along. They still love each other, though, I made sure to add.
She looked at me as if I had made the whole thing up. "I cannot imagine that," she said, and went back to her book.
We were sitting the other night in our neighborhood ice cream parlor, Greg facing me in the booth, the kids peppered in on both sides, licking their dripping cones. There was an elderly couple behind us, unbeknownst to me, watching and listening to all of the (loud) chatter going on in our booth. Grace was exclaiming over her loose tooth for quite a while, each proclamation louder than the rest: It's really loose now, Mama, I mean REALLY loose. No, this one! Daddy, look at it! LOOKHOWLOOSEITIS. IT IS GOING TO FALL OUT MAMA., etc.
Greg and I, immune to excited exclamations of almost any kind at this point, made sure to nod and give occasional affirmation as we continued on with our adult conversation, sometimes pausing to correct the child crawling down under the table, comment appropriately about the loose tooth, or ask them to turn the volume down a bit.
After we finished our ice cream, I got up and walked to the soda fountain to refill a drink, when the elderly man approached me and placed something in my palm. It was a $1 coin, the kind they give you at the post office when you buy stamps from the machine.
"This is for when that tooth falls out tonight," he said with a smile, and walked off. I thanked him as he walked away, then pocketed the coin and went back to the table with a secret smile.
The tooth fell out that night, and the next morning, the coin made her day.
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