When we were building the house, I was going by on my way home each day to check on the progress, and potentially spot anything being done wrong. This was causing a lot of time in the evenings away from my family, and I didn't realize, until recently, the damaging effects it had on my relationship with Anne Marie.

Obviously, I love her and she loves me. However, in her 2 year old year (the last year or so), she was very fickle with how and when she would let me love on her. There were times, she would not even allow me to hold her. I racked my brain to figure out why this was, but could not come up with anything. The other day, it dawned on me: our relationship is not as solid. 

This school year is a little different for us than the past few years for a few different reasons. First, as you've read here recently, Alan started kindergarten. What that means for us is that Alan and mommy get out the door early. Alan rides with Rebecca to Flowood Elementary. Then, Anne Marie and daddy have some time together to get ready. We are able to spend a ton more time together than we have in the last year and a half. We chat while she's eating breakfast, and she loves to sit on the counter of the bathroom while I shave. It is definitely special. We talk about the shaving cream and what all I'm doing. She is very concerned when I cut myself shaving. She has such a kind heart. 

I continue to realize just how special these times with my (for now) youngest child are. The bond between us grows stronger everyday, to the point that she is beside herself if I am not involved in tucking her in at night. 

Little things have changed how she runs to me screaming, "Daddy's home," when I walk in the door. I must say, I love that she does that. I love being greeted by excited kids that want to hug me. It really makes me feel good. 

How do I ensure that I don't lose what we have right now? How do I keep the bond growing ever stronger? I think with that one, time spent with her is the answer to it all. I could be looking at how she plays with her dolls or just holding her in my arms when she comes to me, holds her arms up, and grunts, "uhhhhh." I know EXACTLY what she wants in that instance, even when no words are uttered. 

Have you seen any changes in behavior when you spend more time with someone? A significant other? A little one? Let me know by leaving a comment below. 

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