Some mornings, in trying to get everyone out the door, you feel like you have fought an entire war before 8 am. And, you aren't sure whether you won or not. Everyone running around, no one focused and the goal of leaving on time is nowhere in sight. But then, you have an occasional morning where things are just smooth and easy breezy. No battles, lovey children, breakfast dishes cleaned before you walk out the door with a perfectly brewed cup of coffee in your hand. And thus, was my morning today.
Lily happily picked out her own clothes - which I let her wear without any of my usual critique (I know, let it go). Sadie and Ethan prepared their own breakfasts and lunches. There was time for conversation. There was time for a puzzle. There was even time for, gasp, Rock Band. Delightful.
Jay was still in bed, but working on his laptop. Little Lovey came running in with a monkey puppet on her hand. "Daddy, Daddy," she said. "Look at my monkey." Jay responded, "Oh yeah? Isn't that cute." And with that she laid the monkey on the bed and did a little gallop out of the room. As she neared the door she said, "I love you, Daddy." And a few steps later shouted out, "Oh, and you, too, monkey. I love you, toooooooooooo." And with that, she was out the door.
That is Lily, really. Always overflowing with love. When meeting someone for the first time, her enthusiasm bursts forth in a hug. Strangers in our house are quickly given the once over. If they bestow on her the tiniest bit of attention, they will find themselves the object of her warmth. If I plant myself on the sofa, or anywhere for that matter, she soon finds me. Quickly joining me, she immediately requests some "snuggle." As I respond, she slowly slinks closer and closer until she is nearly in my lap and there she asks for me to "wub" (aka rub) her leg, or tummy or arm. Her teachers tell me she is the sweetest, most giving child they have this year, randomly stop her activity in order to give the teachers or other classmate some lovey.
I have a very difficult time turning down her requests for love. Obviously, there are times when it just isn't plausible whether there are tasks to complete or we are short on time, whatever. But, the real reason is that it is a clear trait that came straight to her from Ansley, my sister who passed away from breast cancer 2 years ago. What a blessing to see that part of her in one of my own.
I grew up rubbing Ansley's arm. I know it sounds unusual, but through our formative years, she would ask me to rub her arm. It helped her go to sleep and relax. And, truthfully, she threatened me if I didn't do it! As we grew older of course, it didn't happen as often. But, as Ansley grew sicker, her requests returned, more frequently. Often times it was all I could offer up to try to ease her pain.
So, when my little Lily comes to me for that loving touch, that "wub" as she calls it. I don't turn her down. This life is fleeting. And, I would do anything to be able to rub her arm again.