A Touching Moment


Earlier tonight, Natalie caught me in the cheek with the corner of an envelope, in that spastic way she has when she’s not paying attention to her surroundings. Sometimes it’s an elbow to the face, or a foot to the groin. Tonight, it was an envelope to the cheek.

Almost instinctually, I said, “Ow, baby, that hurt.” It didn’t–not really–but I usually say that when she does something that could cause others pain. I know deep down it’s a lost cause as she continues to be the sole center if her universe, but still I try.

Only, tonight, after I said those words I so often say, she turned to me and ever-so gently stroked my cheek where she’d gotten me. Then she went back to watching Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs on her Kindle Fire.

I was stunned. I had no idea she was aware she’d hit me, never mind where . For a moment I thought perhaps I’d received a papercut and was bleeding, or it’d left some kind if a mark. Something that let her know what she’d done by looking at me after I’d spoken.

There was nothing, leading me to conclude she had heard my words and responded with empathy. In her non-verbal way, she had said, “I’m sorry.”

Perhaps she’s more aware of her surroundings than I give her credit for.

S.L. Madden

PS. Wanna hear something else touching? This is the first post I’ve written entirely with the touch screen on my phone. So maybe now you’ll forgive all the blatant typos. 🙂

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