I tend to be an excessive hugger. Ever since Maddie died I’ve definitely been more of a toucher…I show affection when I feel it because life is short. I do try to rein it in around most people, but my kids? They get the full-on affection-machine. I hug and kiss them like crazy, James especially because he can’t get away.

Annie has started spontaneously hugging and it just melts me. I want her to be free with her affection. I especially love it when she hugs and kisses her brother and Rigby. I think Annie has finally mastered the art of petting gently because Rigby doesn’t run away anymore.

I was talking with Annie yesterday and she said something particularly clever. I smiled and then said, “Annie, you know I love you, right?”

She rolled her eyes ever-so-slightly and said, “Yeaaaaah…you say it every day, all the time.” Her tone was one of teenaged impatience, but she was smiling.

“I’ll say it every day for as long as I live. I love you sooooooo much.”

“I love you too, Mommy! I’ll say it every day, too.”

I know that’s probably not going to happen (hello teenage years) but I’ll enjoy the hugs and I Love Yous whenever I get them. Life is short.

Annabel, age three