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The Love Nazi

posted Tuesday October 30th, 2012

“Do you love your sister?!” Sophie asked the other day, out of the blue.

“Um, yeah, of course I love Aunt Jenny,” I replied.

“Tell her!”

Hmmm. That might be tough. The only time in recent memory the phrase “I love you” was used in conversation with my younger sister, it was at the end of a phone call and I can’t recall which of us said it but I do remember that we both burst out laughing — because it was an accident. While we both end every conversation with our mom and our respective husbands with “I love you,” we don’t say it to each other.

Not for any particular reason. We just don’t. It’s not us.

But it is Sophie. She’s the Love Nazi.

“Say, `Hello beautiful mother,’” she says as she hands me the phone, after giving my mom instructions to greet me as ‘beautiful daughter.’”

It’s not like we’re not an affectionate family — it’s just that as a rule, Sophie is pretty much exploding with love. The rest of us are a bit more subdued. Exhibit A: the picture above, of Sophie and her best friend Sarah. Sarah looks pleased, if slightly panicked (it’s understandable, for a tiny person Sophie has a scary-tight grip) by this run-of-the-mill show of affection.

It’s cool. Who couldn’t use a love explosion once in a while? The other day, Sophie told me she loves me more than her birthday. That’s big. (I’m not sure she means it, but hey, I’ll take it.)

Don’t get me wrong — it’s not “The Love Boat” 24/7 around our house. Sophie can be just as pissy (sometimes more) as the rest of us. But a lot of the time, she reminds me of the title character in my favorite Christmas movie, “Elf.” (“I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!”)

I can’t wait to dance at her wedding.

Sophie does have one habit I’d like her to break.

She waits til I’ve just drifted off to sleep, then she puts her face right up next to mine, and kisses me gently on the lips. In Disney movies this looks so pleasant, but trust me, when you open your eyes from the throes of a gentle slumber and there is another set of eyes looking right into yours (from a distance of a few centimeters) it scares the shit out of you.

Out of me, anyway.

A small price to pay for all that love.

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Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome, family by Amysilverman

10 Responses to “The Love Nazi”

  1. She told you she loves you MORE than her birthday? Oh my gosh, I love that.

  2. I love that Sophie can be so free with her emotions. It’s a lesson I should study up on.

  3. Oh, I love this. : ) The “scary-tight grip” made me laugh out loud!

  4. I love Sophie and I love her friend Sarah too.

    Hey, can I ask a question? Is Sophie affectionate at school? My son is almost 6 and loves to hug his friends at school (and adult friends and strangers and and and). I’m unsure whether we should be starting to discourage this. The kids are ok with it at this age but I fear it won’t be well received as they all get older…any thoughts?

  5. I just had to tell you….on a day when I have encountered too many people that neither love others or themselves (clearly, or they wouldn’t act the way they do)…this Sophie story absolutely made my day. Love it.

  6. Nice photo, the scary-tight grip made me laugh.

  7. That is nice saying She loves You more Than her Birthday

  8. jaida — she is, but not as much as she used to be — i think that you can very, very gently discourage the constant hugging (we used to see that too) and over time he will choose more appropriate targets for his affection. :) sophie still pops off with a spontaneous hug in awkward situations but for the most part it’s not an issue anymore.

  9. Thanks Amy! It is unfortunate right now because Pacey’s head is right about at crotch level for a lot of men. This makes for…uncomfortable encounters ;) We’re trying to encourage high-fiving over hugs but honestly I’ll be a little sad to see the hug-fest end.

  10. it’ll end, but not entirely. i remember feeling EXACTLY the same way. and actually, the worst head-at-crotch-level hugging situation we ever had was with with annabelle, not sophie — go figure. i’ll never forget it. it involved the owner of my company. horrifying!

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