Finding a PURPLE beaded necklace = pure joy.
Dress shopping is successful when you have found one that twirls perfectly.
Proof that you are your mother's daughter: sitting in the middle of the store with 10 books in your lap while being absolutely lost in one of them.
The privelege of getting to choose what the special treat will be does not intimidate you. ("Ice cweam, please.")
The shock of learning that such a thing as a Smartie Blizzard exists leaves your mouth wide open and your eyes as round as saucers.
When told that you don't have to eat it all, your wise reply is a sincere "Yes, I do, Mama!" (How could I be so absurd?!)
The smiles you give from across the table as we chat and trade ice creams for taste tests are imprinted on my heart for always. They can never be erased.
A sugar rush leaves you with the need to relinquish your grip on my hand and run through the mall just a few steps ahead. Every few seconds you look back to check that I am there. It is at times like these that your dependance on me peeks through. You never had me fooled, you know.
Hands in the air. Stray strands of hair flying behind you. A gait that is less than elegant but perfect all the same. Freedom. Happiness. Contentment.
The pride of helping Mama carry the few items we have to pick up at Walmart. As usual, you must know what each item is for. I am well used to this curious, inquisitive side to you now and find joy in answering your questions. Teaching you about the world. What things are for. Why things happen. I am blessed to be your teacher.
You are not inhibited by any social norms. You say hi to everyone. Flash a smile. Throw a wave. My beautiful, friendly little girl. Your bright and happy face is contagious. When you are with me I am surrounded by smiles and a happier world.
On the way home we chatter about skunks and why they wouldn't be very good to eat. About how you used to choke on chips if you ate them when younger. About how you must chew your food in order to swallow it and not choke. About how you'd like to eat lots and lots of candy and your suspicion that as a baby you did. One thing leads to another. We talk and talk and talk. Nothing important. But still, so very important.
And that evening, when all the fun is done, I tuck you in. I pray over you and kiss you on the forehead.
"Snuggle one minute, Mama?", you ask.As if we haven't spent the whole evening together, just the two of us. As if you didn't spend your every waking moment in my company. As if this was the most essential and necessary thing in the whole wide world. But you see, what I've come to understand is that it is.