Friday, February 17, 2012
Let Me Count the Ways....
You know how there are those times when, in the midst of a humdrum day (or maybe a not-so-humdrum-day), your child does something subtle (or not so subtle) that just kinda blows your mind? You pause, breathe, and take a second or two to honor and appreciate the fact that your baby girl or boy is a kinder, braver, smarter, or more talented soul than you generally give them credit for? And maybe, like me, you start reciting to yourself “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways….”
After having two of these moments just yesterday, I’ve decided I better start writing these little revelations down. My hope is that one day, when Em is more grown up and maybe worried that she’s not smart enough, or brave enough, or a kind enough person, I can find these words and read them to her, and help her see the truth of her own value.
So here’s a few reasons I love my daughter...
Yesterday, when I picked Em up from daycare, I knew right away that something wasn’t right. Despite the fact that her teacher told me she had a great day, and had enjoyed playing on the playground and “reading” (looking at) books with her friends, my mama instincts told me Em was not feeling herself. Her body looked like it was on red alert. I knew something was about to go down.
Sure enough, en route from daycare to our home, as we winded our way through the mess of rush hour traffic, Em suddently started crying. And, just as suddenly, Em started projectile vomiting. It was HORRIBLE. She was screaming, gagging, crying, and puking all at the same time. I started to panic. I was in the inner lane of bumper-to-bumper traffic, and I couldn’t pull over without running the risk of a bad accident. Drivers are SO NOT friendly at the end of the workday, I have learned. With my hands clenched on the steering wheel and my rearview mirror turned (not so legally) so I could make sure Em wasn’t choking, I drove the rest of the three long miles home as quickly as I could, with me crying and her wailing the whole ride.
Of course, the minute we pulled in the driveway, I pounced out of my seat and pulled Em out of the car and into my arms (yes, pukey dookey and all). She immediately stopped screaming and snuggled in real close, wrapping her arms around me. I could feel both our hearts racing. Do you know what my daughter did? With her little 16 month old hand, she gently patted me on my back. My little girl KNEW I was scared, and even though SHE was the one who had just gotten sick all over the car, and she was the one soaked in vomit, she comforted her crying mama.
Emmy, you astound me. Let me count the ways…
Em got sick five more times yesterday. After each bout of sickness, we got undressed, cleaned up whatever floor, rug, or upholstery had been obliterated, and got in the shower to wash the germies off our bodies. And wouldn’t you know, each time we stepped under the running water, my exhausted, ill, slightly dehydrated daughter started singing. Minutes after puking her little guts out for the fourth or fifth time, Emmy was still cheery enough to sing a little tune as we scrubbed her body.
Now I don’t know about you, but when I get sick, I don’t exactly feel like singing. I’m too busy feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in my own disgustingness. I throw myself a huge pity party, where no one’s allowed to sing. Everyone must be silent and miserable. Especially me.
But not Em. She’s better than that.
As we toweled ourselves off from our fifth shower, I looked my daughter in the eyes and said “Em, next time I get sick, I’m gonna try to be like you and sing in the shower. Thank you baby girl.” and kissed her forehead.
How do I love you, Em? Let me count the ways…