Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Playing Nancy Drew

JoMama has passed on the latest of the Her Interactive Nancy Drew computer mysteries: The Legend of the Crystal Skull. We now have a new tradition. We have loaded the game onto my laptop, and I play the game, while the kidlets sit on either side of me and direct my movements.

This bare description does not even begin to do justice to the reality of what is happening. We started on Sunday, I think, a rainy dark November afternoon. I sat on the sofa in the parlor, by feet propped up on the leather footstool/coffee table, the fire glowing warmly in the grate. Adding both the Bunny and Pony to the sofa meant we were completely squished together (it is a very small sofa--really more of a loveseat), shoulder to shoulder, as close as we could comfortably be.

More as a matter of ambiance than actual temperature, we had the faux fur lap rug spread over us, and the heat generated by the laptop made us all slightly sleepy. The game itself takes place in an old house in New Orleans, next door to a cemetary, on a rainy night. The tree of us nestled in our oasis of warmth and light.

Maybe this is happening to you, but as my kidlets get older, they are less physically demonstrative. They are not standoffish or anything, but they would rather not behugged, for example. They are separating to become the adults they will be, and while they are kind, and funny, and affectionate, they are also a bit aloof. But while playing a lightly sppoky game, snuggled up against one another, they are relaxed and happy.

Ti's the same warm and sleepy feeling that I remember having when I held my babies, letting them fall asleep on my lap, or snuggling in bed. That wonderful sense of release, and their little bodies relaxed, and they melted into. It has been years since my girls have fallen asleep nestled up to me, and it's a feeling I had not realized I missed. It's one of the ineffable joys of being a parent, feeling that tiny, sturdy toddler body soften and settle in your arms, while the energy and drive that a toddler needs to do all the learning she has to do just shuts down, and you can see your child's face go back to it's baby shape a bit.

I didn't realize how profound an experience that has been for me00how much of touchstone of my visceral sense of what it means to be a mother, untl Plny fell asleep while leaning against me on Sunday. There is a scent that a sleeping child releases: warm and sweet. Even when said child is a teenager, and taller than I am.

So thank you, JoMama. Playing this game has been more delightful than you could have imagined.

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