I Love You

By: Brandy Black

Sophia began saying “I love you” a while back.  I always wonder what those words really mean to her, if she understands love yet, if she’s truly identified the feeling.  I love hearing her say it to me or Susan or our dog; it just warms my heart.  It’s like the first time she gave me a kiss, it was quite possibly the sweetest moment ever.  Every stage of childhood has become better than the last but right now at 3.5 years old I dare say we have raised a real sweetheart.  She relinquished her toy to the crying child, she brought me a blanket and pillow when she found me lying on the bathroom floor suffering morning sickness, she looked at the woman at the dry cleaners  and said “you look pretty today”, and this afternoon while sitting at the movie theatre watching “Winnie the Pooh”, she leaned over to me out of nowhere and said “I love you Mama.” It was as if I’d heard those 3 words for the very first time.
But tonight as I sat and chowed down my take out spicy linguine knowing that it might be my last bit of pasta for 5 months because of potential gestational diabetes I listened as Sophia helped Susan (Mom) fix the fountain.  She held the flashlight, she ran back and forth between the house and the porch grabbing things for her and entertaining Susan all the while.  I remembered back to the days that I would help my dad fix things around the house and how I loved that time with him.  I would follow him around and hand him things and even if I wasn’t helpful at all, he would patiently listen to me ramble on and on.  I never wanted to talk about my day at school when asked but in moments like that, I was ready to tell my life story.  I recognize that in Sophia, when I pick her up from class and ask her about her day she won’t tell me anything but when caught in the right moment she will unveil all.  I’m still that way now that I think about it.
I tucked her in tonight way too late because I couldn’t stand to pull her away from her Mom any sooner.  She insisted on wearing her new dress to bed so that she could wake in it and wear it to school.  She told me she was excited to show her best friend Cece her brand new dress that Mama bought for her with her matching purple headband with flowers.  I love this child with all my heart, I had no idea when I held her in my arms at the hospital with a surprising amount of affection for just meeting her that I was capable of a love this deep, this proud, this strong, this sweet.

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