It wasn’t that I didn’t notice you. When you arrived in my arms, I was thrilled to find you attached and healthy, one of ten perfect little appendages on chubby little hands, connected to the most perfect being I had ever seen.
I was so naive.
Because while I have never doubted the perfection of that tiny child, his screams certainly tested my dedication. This beautiful being cried and it broke my heart and then he cried some more and my head hurt.
I tried the pacifier, but my perfect little human responded with a kind of apathy I didn’t realize was possible of an infant. He didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t what he wanted.
I tried a blankie, soft and safe, but it held no appeal for his cries.
And then one night, one glorious night, he found you. I walked into the nursery, having noticed that our tiny human’s screams were somewhat lessened that night, and I found this beautiful sight:
This was it. This picture is the moment that the sparks flew: the stars aligned and you found each other. And you have been inseparable ever since.
I don’t know why he choose you, leftie. Perhaps you chose him. Either way, this sweet child has never stuck his right thumb into his mouth. It is only you, the left one, that he treasures so much.
At first, he found you only during sleep.
Sweet thumb, for you I have to thank many restful nights.
And lovely, cuddly, mid-day naps.
You helped on airplanes, on vacation, at home and in a carseat, assisting my little human into dreamland.
Soon though, the obsession and love between you grew, and he would find you during bathtime
And during playtime
Of course, like all good things, difficulties cluttered our path.
One time, in a classic rookie mom mistake, I cut the nail on you just a little too short. There was blood. I was horrified. The child, of course, was more horrified, as he tried to soothe himself with his thumb, only to find it the source of his pain.
I was scared to trim his nails for weeks.
You have also interrupted plenty of photos to spend quality time in the germ-infested water of my sweet child’s mouth
One time, underestimating the loving bond between you and my son, I offered him the pacifier. It was as if two great friends had been separated by a wall and tried desperately to return to each other.
I went home and threw the others away.
And you have been there since. You and my son, best friends.
Either way, I sing your praises.
Many parents stifle the finger-sucking tendencies of their littles. I welcomed you. Here you were, ready and willing to soothe his little self. I couldn’t lose you. He couldn’t throw you away. You were always at hand (no pun intended), ready and willing.
So thank you, my son’s left thumb.
He can suck on you until he’s twelve, for all I care. Because you have provided the peace a new mother craved.