My daughter says, “I love mommy” and then later on seemingly copying her older brother she asks, “do you love me?” A somewhat hurtful question if taken personally but considering that her brother has autistic traits I quickly realize it’s simply mimicry, so I answer back, “I love you so much I would die for you.” Her mind could not really understand this concept. The movie “Tangled” came out when she was five-years-old. The “I Love You” ritual went like this–
Rapunzel says, “I love you”
Mother Gothel responds, “I love you more.”
But my daughter and I usually depart from the script and I would say, “I love you most-est, post-est, host-est…” attempting secondary rhymes with words I invented.
When she was in first and second grade she started quantifying this by saying, “I love you 8,000 times.” And I would respond, “I love you 18,000,000 times to infinity.” And in the end I would usually let her have the last say.
“I love you gazillion times.”
How can you quantify this love? I don’t think I can. I can’t fathom it. I love her deeply and unconditionally.
When we were apart the distance hurts. My heart felt swollen and it ached when we didn’t see each other. I told her, “missing you is so hard. Missing you hurts.” And she says, “Mommy, I was crying last night because I missed you so much.”
All I can say to her is, “my little angel, as long as I draw breath I will be with you to hold and love you. You are my life, my soul, my everything. Putting what I feel for you into words feel so incomplete and inadequate, but please know it is there. Always and always.