Having worked with kids in the past, and babysat for what seemed like a million years, I know that one of the best parts of working with little kids is their hugs. They're sometimes sticky (or stinky, even), but so worth it. What I didn't know was how hugs and kisses from my OWN kid could save me from the worst days, the sad-sack days, the days when everything goes wrong. Or how your child can tell when something's bothering you, and gives you exactly what you need.
I've had kind of a crappy day. A lot of little things have gone wrong, nothing life-altering, but a little stressful just the same. When I went upstairs to get Austin from his afternoon nap, he looked up at me from his little blanket-nest in the crib and gave me a huge smile. "DA!" he said, and jumped to his feet. His little hands clutched the rail, and he flung his head into my chest -- his loving head-butt.
I carried him down the stairs. We reached the bottom, and instead of wiggling out of my arms, he shrieked when I tried to set him down and nuzzled his head into my neck. We walked around a little bit, me and my Bug, looking out the windows, talking to the dogs. I asked if he wanted to watch a show, and he nodded his head yes. Normally, he'll watch about five minutes of an episode of say, "Bob the Builder," and then ignore the TV and play. Today, when I sat down on the floor, he crawled into my lap and leaned back against me. I wrapped my arms around his waist and kissed the top of his head, and he let out a big sigh. "Yeah, Buddy...tough day, huh?"
He nodded, "Da," and stroked my jeans. Tears welled up in my eyes. Not tears of sadness, but of gratitude. Oh, why did no one ever tell me it could be like this?
Thank you, thank you, thank you, God or whoever, for this tiny person who heals my heart.