Three Little Words

Spicy Girl has started to express her feelings more freely. At first, the hubby and I thought the “I love you”s were exclusively for us and the grandparents. Then the aunts and cousins got the sentiment. But, when the third nephew, twice removed got one, we knew that we were in a situation where possibly the “selectivity” was not what we had originally believed it to be.

My initial thought was “does she understand what that means?” Then, when she told the guy at the Trader Joe’s check out that she loved him for giving her a sticker, it occurred to me that she knows that it makes people happy, but only those that love her back will respond with “I love you, too.” The check out guy, well, he just smiled and gave her an extra sticker – which may very well be why she said it to begin with.

Recently, while visiting friends at the beach, Spicy Girl and her friend, Marsh (name changed to protect the innocent and Spicy Girl’s reputation), who is five months her senior were walking playfully back to the house for lunch – following a fun morning of sun, surf and sand castles. The two of them skipped, ran, giggled and even held hands for a few minutes – until she said it “I love you.” Marsh’s response? First he dropped the hand, then he gave her an emphatic, “But, I don’t love you.”

“Well, that’s not very nice.” She said, “Right, mommy?”

“Well, Spicy Girl – we don’t go saying ‘I love you’ to every boy out there. And, frankly, he’s being honest.”

Minutes later, they were back at it, chasing one another around, playing tag and having fun. I had just experienced the shortest episode of heart-break on record.

Of course she won’t remember this first rejection, but I will. And in the future, when she is making decisions that have to do with the heart, I will remind her of this moment. It is doubtful that it will be this painless, but hopefully, this little tale will make her smile through a time of heart ache. While life and love gets more complicated over time, the bottom line is there will be times where someone loves you enough to give you a second sticker and times where they like you enough to just play tag.


About Laura

If you had told Laura that she would become a first time mom at 41, say back in her "spirited 20s", she would have said "That sounds about right.  I've got too much to do until then."  Well, she didn't really, and it wasn't exactly by choice. Seven years of fertility treatments later, it all seemed to make sense.  And with the words, "let's adopt," the adventure really began.  When her daughter ("Spicy Girl" b.2007) was placed in her arms at 11 months old, in a city half-way around the world, the idea of motherhood became the reality of "what the hell am I doing?"  All at once, life at home became a constant sociological experiment of nature vs. nurture.  "Honestly, honey, I didn't teach her how to do a forward roll at 20 months ... I couldn't do one when I was 20 years old.  It must be her hard-wiring." In her daytime away from mom-hood, she works as a higher education administrator where she does her best not to parent 18 to 22 year-olds.

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