Maama! It has to be the singularly most wonderful word in the world. Now, the shine may wear off over the years, and perhaps it does, but for now I am luxuriating in my son's first attempts at communicating directly with me.
I hear it murmured from the sitting room, so I turn and look. I know that any second now, an 18 month old will come toddling towards me at full speed, arms outstretched, eyes sparkling, ready for a hug.
I bend down, open my arms, and wrap the incoming tornado in my arms. Just for 20 seconds. 40 seconds is too long, he has places to go, teddies to see, things to hit! But those 20 seconds, my heart melts. It is a moment of sheer perfection. A moment when the blessings of motherhood far outweigh any burdens, when I don't second guess myself and wonder if I am a good enough mother. In that moment, the perfection of the word becomes my perfection too.