Friday, March 04, 2005

The Hugging Sound

All this talk about evolution and creation is just murky murmuring in a back-hall closet when I hear the hugging sound.

The hugging sound is the warm, purring, throaty vocal inflection my one-year-old daughter makes when she spots her stuffed baby doll (the frog-like, big-eyed "Lily," who talks about colors and counts butterflies, pink flowers, and blue birds) or when she wants a hug from me or her mom. It's not unlike her leaning over at her waist and reaching out for me with both arms straight out, palms stretched, when I get home. It's also not unlike her laughs when I buzz my lips on her belly. It's incredible.

The hugging sound started after she got attached to her doll. My daughter doesn't quite know how to turn Lily on or make her talk. And she doesn't know that holding her by her foot so the green head with a pink bow on top bounces along the oak floors would harm her if she were alive.

Of course, to my dauthter, Lily is alive. Hence the sound. She loves this doll. She cuddles it and walks in her frankenstein-like way across the house to pick her up and hug her and peer at her with her usual inquisitive, raised-eyebrow intent.

So when I am the thing that inspires the hugging sound in her--which has only begun in the last few days--I feel like for the first time, my daughter is telling me that she loves me. Yes, I've seen it in her eyes before. And I know by her hugs and her comfort with me and her desire to be held that she loves me. But it's different when she vocalizes it. It's a bolder-colored sentiment.

So, regardless of how we all got here, I never take for granted this wonderful life and the joy of my daughter and her love.


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