I find myself stroking the silky ears of the dog more frequently than before. When she is on the couch in Eldest's room, curled up with her head on the arm of the couch, her eyes implore me to stroke those ears. Eldest will rouse himself from his latest mass killing spree on Xbox Live and take part.
More often than not, I'll once again liken the feel of those ears to the feel of the silky part of the baby blanket he had with him most times as a baby and toddler and, for a time, as a preschooler. It was as much a lovey as he would ever possess.
Most times, he will keep the roll-eying to a minimum. He seems to enjoy the times that I am in his room, petting the dog and talking nonsense. Of course, talking nonsense is one of my strongest points.
I realized this morning, when I went to awaken him and took the time to stroke the dog's ears, that there's a reason old people like their pets so much. The older our kids get, the less willing they are to submit to a human touch, the less we are able to hold them and to caress them. So we satisfy that need by elevating our pets to a higher status.
And remembering what it was like when we had our own lovies to ourselves.