The Art of Giving

FullSizeRender(244)[S] has embraced hugging recently.  She hugs me.  She hugs her Father.  She hugs her stuffed animals.  She hugs her baby doll.  All to be expected.  But she also hugs her books.  And her chairs.  And her toy cash register.  Clearly, she understands that hugging means you care about that person–or item, as the case may be.  Indeed, the past two weeks have been filled with commands of,  “Hugggg, hugggg, Mommy.”

She also likes give me things.  She’ll find a strand of my hair and say, “Here you go, Mommy,” as she hands it to me.  She does the same with tissues (used or clean), torn paper, and magazines.  Unfortunately, she also does it with things she finds on our floors.  The other day while I was Skyping with a dear friend, [S] placed something next to the computer, saying, “Here you go, Momma.”  I took a quick look and screamed loudly, jumping up from my seat.  It was a dead spider.  Sigh.  Needless to say, I’m mopping our floors more often.

This week, I realized how [S] has perfected the art of giving.  Monday, I lay shivering on the couch, covered by a cashmere blanket.  “Momma, hug, Momma,” [S] kept saying.  Thinking it was another round of the flu, I wanted her to stay far away from me.  But after another 24-hours of fever, aches and pains, I started to feel small blisters forming on my fingers and feet.  Today, those blisters have turned into tell-tale red circles.  When I rang the doctor yesterday, I was advised that adults rarely show symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease, “But if you do have it, there’s nothing we can do for you.”

I’m on day five of my self-imposed quarantine.  It’s not a pretty virus.  To the contrary, it’s like having the chicken pox on your hands and feet.  Really.  For the past several days, I keep thinking that there has to be a way to keep [S] from trying to kiss me constantly.  That thought is repeatedly met with the same response, “Why would I want to do that?”  After all, she’ll stop on her own accord soon enough.

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