I took off with a good friend last week for a Girls’ Only trip to Savannah. If ever a town was made for wandering! On our tour of squares, we found E. Shaver Bookseller. While my friend had a book wrapped for her daughter, I perused the bargain section. I found a vivid photographic book on the nomadic tribes of Niger. One image caught my attention most: a mother, devoid of expression, nursing her little baby. A child of three or so, wearing a hint of fear on her face, sat leaning against the mother. The captions explained in these tribes, immediate families don’t show affection to their children until they are two years old. Infant mortality is high, so it makes sense. The next page showed photos of smiling aunts and uncles filling in to snuggle, play and laugh with them.
Since I’m an only child and my husband’s siblings are 2,000 miles away, we are our children’s main source of bonding and physical closeness. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but looking at those images did cause me to reflect on how I want to be my children’s everything. It may eventually drive them bonkers. I’m happy, though, that they are showing a physical attachment to one another. I watched my baby toddle up to one of my girls today and raise his arms to get picked up. She was so delighted! This same daughter kicked my bedcovers off last night and then snuggled up to me when she got cold. For now, at least, I still make the grade for snuggle duty.