This morning, while cuddling in bed with Richard and me, three-year old Lillian had a lot to say.
She mostly told us about her dreams, which involved snowflakes and evil pumpkins. The pumpkins apparently ate the cake at the princess party. I’m not sure I got the whole thing, but I know the pumpkins ruined everything. And they were only a “little bit” evil. Her imagination while awake is vivid enough — add the bizarre world of dreams, and the stories get a little hard to follow.
We spent some time counting fingers, talking about letters and how big she was getting, even though (of course) she’s still my baby girl. We tried to wiggle fingers one at a time, and she giggled at her inability to do it without holding the rest of her fingers with her other hand. Her little feet brushed my legs in our cozy flannel bedding, so warm and safe with the morning sunlight just outlining the shaded windows.
Then, that sweet little girl touched my face and said three magic words. “I like you.” Then she repeated. “I really like you Mommy.”
This is a girl who has always been free in declaring her love. An early talker and a profound little thinker — she’s happy to share the love with so many. “I love you” frequently just rolls off her tongue: I love you Mommy. I love you Daddy. I love graham crackers. I love soy milk. I love princess dresses. I love Taylor Swift.
We are after all called to love. And Lillian does that and then some.
But that moment was different. She quietly offered me a uniquely thoughtful expression of her feelings. The fact that she loves me is a given. The fact that she likes me is a gift. One I will treasure always.