Every day, after I give Cheech her morning bottle, she likes to sit on my lap and spend about five minutes giving me tons and tons of hugs. She wraps her short little arms around my shoulders, rests her head on my shoulder, squeezes tight, lets go, smiles at me, and repeats... times a hundred. I hug her back and tell her she is the best hugger in the world.
This morning, it really hit me how this little daily ritual of hers will be a thing of the past before I know it. I think I've mentioned it here before, but I'm not exactly the most nostalgic person, and the joy I get from seeing her little progressions is SO MUCH greater to me than the memories of how she used to *be*, or what she used to *do*. But the hugging thing? That's something I wish could last forever. The thing is, right now, Cheech looks at Joe and I with the brightest light in her eyes; We are the coolest people she knows, her heroes... even when we manage to drop her off the couch. One day, however, she will discover that, well, we're really not that cool. I'm not saying she won't love us, or even admire us, but the hugs will be few and far between as she gets older. And the hardest, but perhaps sweetest, part of it all is that they'll never be the same.