Knock on wood, Sweetie's enjoying a good run of successful school drop-offs. For a long while now she's been happy to go to school and has had great days there.
However, instead of tears and fights about not wanting to go to school, now she insists on very particular goodbye rituals before I leave her.
This pretty much consists of exchanging a hug, kiss and a nose. But then she'll add in a forehead. Or she'll stop me on my way out and tell me, we forgot to do cheeks!
Whatever. It's getting to the point where I wonder what the heck else she can stop and ask me to do. But it's not crying and screaming, so I'll take it.
Last Thursday was no different. We exchanged our hug, kiss, nose and forehead. I asked if there was anything else. Nope - I was free to go.
BUT - as I walked out her classroom door, the school's director stopped to talk to me. At the same time, Sweetie ran out of her classroom (a big no-no) to tell me I had, in fact, forgotten something.
Mom! You forgot to rub me!
Huh? What she say? No time to think about it. The director was trying to ask me something. As she did, I just held Sweetie close to me until I could finally give her my full attention.
When I could, I walked Sweetie back into her room.
Now what do I need to do? I asked.
Nothing. You did it already!
And that was that.
Thinking about it after, I realized that I must always rub Sweetie's back whenever I give her her goodbye hug. I guess I didn't do it that day, though, but I made up for it as she was standing with me while I talked to her director.
Then this past weekend, in the middle of the night, Sweetie came rushing into our room in tears. She woke me from a dead sleep, but I tried to calm her and ask her what the trouble was as I fought for consciousness. Nothing helped. She wouldn't talk and her cries only escalated.
Finally she laid down on top of me as the tears kept coming. I sleepily rubbed her back and said nothing. Within seconds, she was quiet. Finally, she was able to tell us what the trouble was (a bad dream), calm down, and be walked back to her own bed.
And when Sweetie was a tiny infant, screaming after a stimulating day or crying out in baby frustration, one of the only things that would consistently quiet her down was me rocking her in my arms as I sat singing a familiar tune to her. All done while I rubbed her tiny back. Seemed to work darn near every time.
Not sure where exactly I'm going with this post. Just, I guess, that I'm both surprised and pleased to know what a calming, comforting affect the human touch of a gentle back rub can have on someone.
From the get-go it has worked for Sweetie. When her little life gets to be just a bit too much for her, how honored I feel to be able to deliver that much needed touch.