There is just something divine about having a daughter.
It’s in the way that she cuddles me every single morning with her sippy cup full of milk. Still. She will be turning five years old in August and the cuddling in my bed (or on the couch) with milk has been a daily ritual since she was weaned from my breast at eleven months old. In fact, I sometimes have a feeling that she is incapable of drinking milk without her “beet” (her special name for her favorite blanket) and without cuddling me. I want to always treasure these precious moments.
It’s in the way that she pretends to be a mommy. She refers to all of her stuffed animals as her “sons” or “daughters” and treats them as such. She makes sure that they are fed and that Bryce is quiet while they are taking naps in their little shoe boxes.
It’s in the way that she likes to play restaurant. Nearly every day, she welcomes me to “Chili’s”, gives me all of the food on the menu, smiles, and tells me to “enjoy”.
It’s in the way that she imagines things. Recently, on most days of the week, we play the same pretend game where she’s the “mommy” and I’m the “kid”. It’s the same every day. It’s usually played while I am sitting in the hallway holding Mason and reading books to Bryce at the same time. Lizzie tells me that she is now the “mommy” and I have to be the “kid”. And then she says “Sweetie, what do you want to eat for breakfast?”. She gets me the pretend food. Sometimes is actual play food, other times it’s random objects. Then she takes me to school (which is funny because she has never been to school). While at school, she miraculously turns into the teacher. She writes different letters on the easel and then brings me a piece of paper and tells me to copy the same letters. I do it in about 2 seconds because Mason is crying at this point and wants me to bounce him. When school is over, she transforms back into “mommy” and drives me home from school. She uses a round nightlight as the steering wheel. She always makes sure that I am properly buckled in my car seat. Once we get home, she feeds me dinner, turns off the light in the hallway, and says “sweet dreams”.
It’s in the way that she is passionate about drawing. If Bryce ruins one of her pictures, she cries. I can’t throw any of her pictures away either. Believe me, I have tried on more than one occasion. She always manages to find them in the trash can and take them out. I keep telling her that we can’t keep everything that she draws…but she doesn’t understand. Our fridge is covered in her artwork. She is constantly making cards for people. There is a big plastic bin under her bed full of her artwork that she can’t bear to part with. I’m not sure what we are going to do with it all.
It’s in the way that she likes to play catch with me. I love it. I usually hide my left hand behind my back and only use my right hand. She has gotten pretty good at playing catch and she likes to try the “one hand” challenge as well. She also likes to play baseball using a wooden stick as a bat. We also enjoy playing basketball by tossing balls into buckets.
It’s in the way that she is terrified of bugs. She often thinks that there are bugs on her food and refuses to eat unless I check her food for bugs first. She is scared of them, yet if we see little beetles outside on our patio, she shows compassion by making a house for them using little twigs and rocks.
It’s in the way that she prefers me over her Daddy when it comes to who puts her to bed each night. In fact, I often use that known fact as a threat. “If you don’t put your toys away right now, than Daddy is putting you to bed tonight”. It works like a charm. We follow the same ritual every night. I must put her “beet” on her legs, silky side down. I tuck a bunch of other pink and purple fuzzy blankets around her. I sing her my short rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Favorite Things”. Sometimes “Lullaby” is sung as well. We say a prayer. We give each other hugs and kisses. I leave the room. She calls my name and asks me to come back at least two more times so that she can give me another hug. It’s the same thing on most nights of the week. My husband and I used to have a deal where He put the kids to bed on the odd days and I would get the even days…but it doesn’t usually work out that way. Even so, one of the first things that Lizzie asks me in the morning is “Is it an even or an odd day?”.
Most especially, it’s in the way that I can’t count how many times a day she tells me that she loves me. And I know that she means it.
Even on the lousy days, how in the world can I feel anything less than happiness when I have been blessed with such a daughter?