Affection tyrant.

YaYa's shot of me.

I love it now that the kids are sometimes taking photos. The photos they take of me are almost always candid. I empty the card reader and find a dozen shots of me with my mouth hanging open as someone tells me a story, my chin receding into my neck at my least favorite angle. I love the unpreparedness of it- the fact that they think I'm beautiful, so they never try to make me look beautiful. How often the camera points up, because they are small, and I loom, tenderly, fiercely, absently.

YaYa took these shots when we were getting the roof ready for a devotion circle together.

"I want to take thousands of photos of you!" she said. And she meant it.



We're all so excited about this baby, but YaYa and I are especially thrilled, almost giddy at times. We catch sight of a baby or even a photo of a baby, and we say, "I can't believe it! We get to have a baby soon!" A baby to kiss and smother with affection.

Our current "baby" is WAY over being smothered with affection. If you kiss him, he wipes the kiss away and says, "I don't like KISSES!" He'll only permit what he calls "Love hugs," a type of hug that he and YaYa made up. In a love hug, you smile sweetly at each other and move in slowly, making nice MMmmmm sounds to underscore how nice you're being. How loving.


There are a lot of rules involved in hugging or kissing Solo these days. Only nose kisses and butterfly kisses allowed. And something called finger kisses. (Stroking one finger along someone's nose.)

But who am I to complain? There are also a lot of rules involved in showing me love these days.

"No elbows!" I yelp.

"It's too hot for long hugs."

"Don't lean against my belly."

"Who's stepping on my foot?"

"Why are you so sandy?"

"Just a little less around the neck, please, Solo."

"Don't breathe on my face."

I'm a super physically affectionate Mama. Usually I'm holding or sitting close to or hugging some child or another, at any moment of the day. But pregnant? And at the end of a long, hot day? I'm better in the morning, when my senses haven't been fully overloaded. Lately Solo wants to snuggle before bed every night, and it's a bit like torture in the most loving way. I lie in bed with him and inch away from his hot breath and try to uncinch his dominating arm from my neck (just to breathe a little better) I stare at his beautiful face and try to memorize it.

He won't be the baby for much longer.