She taught me that, you know. Emma. My daughter. It's the way she says things, does things. It tugs at my heart, it makes me want to cry.....and it reminds me why I'm alive. This little girl, not even tall enough to pass a children's carnival ride, and just small enough to hide under our bathroom sink and listen to me call her name fifty times. This little girl who holds my vulnerable heart in the palm of her tiny, perfect hand. Yes. She reminds me why I'm alive.
And shouldn't we be reminded?
Oh, sweet Emma. If only I had her courage. "Mommy, don't be mad at me again." She steals my heart, you know. She's a little bandit that runs around shouting and laughing and crying and falling. She is free. And she knows it. She just tells me like it is. She doesn't beat around the bush. When wanting an ice cream cone, you don't hear her saying, "Um, mom. I've worked really hard, and I've eaten all 3 tater tots & 5 peas...and you know...well...you kinda, sorta promised I could have an ice cream cone....I mean, if I can." NOPE. She walks up to me, takes my face in her hands, forcing me to look at her, stares me straight in the eyes & says "Mommy, I want an ice cream cone." Does that work? Not all of the time. But it tells me she isn't afraid. She's not worrying about one thing to the next. She's not losing sleep over it. She wakes up, and guess what? It's a new day. And it's perfect all over again. Why can't we be like that?? Can you imagine the world we'd live in, if everyone lived like tomorrow was the best day of their lives? I'm not suggesting living like there are rainbows and butterflies at every flippin' corner. I'm talking about loving life. If we didn't hold grudges, stay angry, make innocent people cry......if we lived like we were free. Really, truly free. How many hearts would be mended, how many friends could we hold onto? How many more hugs & eskimo kisses would we offer our children?
More. A lot more.
So, I'm going to try. I'm going to try not to be too old. I'll work on being free. When I stub my toe, I may just get mad. And when I see something funny in a crowd, I'm going to laugh out loud. And instead of holding it in when I see an elderly lady visiting her late husband's grave, I'll cry. And I'm going to teach Emma that it's okay. It's part of being free.
And when she's older, and her heart is sad, and things are rough, I will remind her. I'll remind her of a two year old little girl with bright eyes & a wild heart...who taught me to live as if tomorrow were the best day of my life. Who taught me to be free.
And then I'll hug her tight and give her an eskimo kiss.
.....And an ice cream cone ♥.