Oh the affection of your teenage child has its rewards. I remember J almost reduced me to tears when she had asked me how my day went recently. I said, "Not great." J said "Do you want to talk about it? It's okay if you don't." with the just the right amount of sympathy and concern on her pretty face. When did you get so mature young lady? I thought.
Once she referred respectively to two people that I regarded as my nemeses as a "wuss" and a "snake". When I looked at her in surprise she said, "What? I know what those words mean Mummy! And they are ..."
And when those hugs and kisses come from J (while they may be a tad more infrequent now) they are wonderful because they are so genuinely given.
A recent magazine article noted that the ethologist Konrad Lorenz proposed "that we instinctively want to nurture any creature that has a cute appearance. Lorenz suggested that infantile characteristics—big head, big eyes, the very round face—stimulate caretaking behavior."
Yes perhaps, but it's not just that ...
It is inconceivable to me that you can carry another being within you without sharing a special bond with her. My blood, my child, my love.