Monday, July 21, 2008

I'll Stop the World and Melt with You...

When Caleb was younger (because he's so much older than he used to be!) he used to instinctively grab my thumb if I put it anywhere near his hand. It was a reflexive act and didn't necessarily communicate anything, but it melted my heart each time. I remember offering my thumb to a friend's 1 year old, who was completely uninterested in it, and realizing, "Oh. Someday he won't want my thumb."

This week, I realized that Caleb isn't grabbing my thumb any more. Well, he'll grab it if he wants to stand in my lap, but that instinctive grab every time my hand drew near is gone. It surprised me to realize this, and I wondered how long it had been happening. Have I been unaware?

Because there's so much more to be aware of now. He's crawling like it's going out of style. Each evening he spends countless minutes crawling from my office to Tommy's and back again. And he's trying so desperately to pull himself up with the help of furniture, legs, toys, etc. He can put himself in a kneeling position, but hasn't figure out how to stand up yet. And that frustrates him. He's had a taste of being mobile through crawling and is now ready to conquer the world.

But my favorite new development is Caleb's own version of a hug and kiss combo. If he's in the hugging mood and my face is close enough, he puts his hands on either side of my head, pulls my face to his and squeezes me with his whole being. Then he makes his happy noise, which is essentially a closed-mouth, "mmmMMMMmmm!" but about a thousand times cuter than those "m"s can communicate.

Now the thing with his hug/kiss combo is that he's very, very selective about giving it. He doesn't kiss on command, and he doesn't kiss often. There's nothing reflexive about his new form of affection. He picks when and wear he's ready to give a hug.

But when he does choose to give that hug/kiss, the world could cease to exist for all I care.

He's growing, and it's amazing. For each little mark of infanthood that sadly disappears, the most amazing changes take its place. I still can't believe how lucky I am that I get to be along for the ride in his adventures.

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