New buddies

We’ve had a handful of stuffed animals lying around since Emerson was born. She has never been interested in any of them, though, save for the occasional play session with the ABC dog we (begrudgingly) inherited from her cousin. But, all of a sudden a couple of weeks ago, Emerson began falling in love with any animal or doll-type friend we put in her vicinity. Now she hugs them, plays with them, lies down on the floor and cuddles with them, and carries them around the house where ever she goes. She lights up with complete joy and begins laughing and clapping when she sees them. I’m telling you, it’s love.

All of this means that we now have extra company at the dinner table, in the car, on the changing table. Very often, Emerson will also refuse to eat unless her doggie is sitting with her….and singing. The minute the song loop on doggie ends, Emerson shuts her mouth and turns her head. The minute we hit the button and make it sing again, Emerson opens her mouth wide. Sigh…

Mostly, Emerson’s tightness with her new buds is pretty adorable. Yes, sometimes it’s difficult to do everything with an extra “baby” in tow. But, it’s so heart-warming to watch your child “love” other things and people….to see her giving out all of the love you worked so hard to put in. And right now, Emerson really wants to share this experience with me. It’s not so much about her being like sorry mom, I have my own life now, I’m gonna hang with doggie and dolly. No. It’s more like Emerson handing me her buddies after she’s done hugging them so I can see how awesome they are and hug them too. She loves to watch me cradle baby doll or pat teddy’s back when he gets hurt. She knows I will take care of them. She knows that if they are important to her, they are important to me. She knows. After twelve months of devoting myself to building a strong, loving foundation to my child’s being, I am beginning to catch glimpses of the result of all that effort. My baby has faith in my mothering…..she knows how to love, because she’s watched me love her.

Of course, it won’t always be this way. Emerson will soon grow attached to real, live buddies. And she won’t want to share that experience with me. Instead, she will tear across a playground, away from me, at the sight of her future buddies. They will be the bee’s knees and I will be….mom. This thought is so hard to accept, but it also presents itself as an opportunity. An opportunity to instill gentleness and kindness into my child. To love her, play with her, and share with her so she will do the same with others. To show her how to create relationships that will enrich her life and put a smile on her face. Because, I may be her Universe right now, but I want more than anything for her to go out into the world with an ever-widening support system that will hold her, encourage her and keep her company. These “buddies” are a first step…

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