Our little boy Liam + his toy giraffe = TRUE LOVE.
Seriously. You should see Liam glom onto “la jirafa” in his crib at bedtime: her horns her ears go straight into his mouth; he digs his fingers into the fringe along her long neck; he turns onto his stomach, pinning her under him in a l.o.v.e. embrace.
What I want to know is this: when Liam is bigger–even more, when he is grown–what will giraffes mean to him? I
mean, the fact that his “lovey,” his special snuggle toy, is a giraffe, will that change anything for him? Will he linger in front of the giraffe enclosure at the zoo in first grade, drawn to the long lashes, the dotted coat? Mesmerized, but not knowing quite why? Or will he skip past, oblivious? Indifferent to the creatures’ affinity for the source of one of his earliest, simplest pleasures?
Either way, I know I will never see a giraffe in quite the same way. Maybe that’s what being a mom means. Whatever our children love, we love, even if only for the fact that it has received our children’s love.
By the way: For a book’s worth of musing on the first year of a child’s life, written as a diary of her son’s first year, check out Anne Lamott’s book Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year. I loved this book. I read it when Liam was about four months old, and there were many moments I could relate to. Best thing about the book: Lamott says the things that I’m ashamed to. This book made me laugh and cry.