My daughter and I sat side by side at the kitchen table while she worked on a Valentine’s art project for school. We sipped on some colorful Tampico to match, and had a little girl chat. She told me one of her friends is in love with a boy. I didn’t realize these conversations started so young. I mean I thought 5-year-olds still had cooties.
I asked her if she was in love with anyone and she told me no.
“Not even with me?” I asked.
“NO!” She said. “Daddy is in love with you! But I love you!”
Ok… My 5-year-old was suddenly schooling me on love. How did she know the difference between parental and romantic love? Seriously, how is this happening?
“I have to be in love with a boy,” she said. A hundred thoughts shot through my mind in that instant but the one that came out of my mouth first was the one that rang most important in that instant.
“Well, you can tell me when you are. And that may be a long LONG time time from now.”
As we sat and I watched her painting her colorful Valentine box and I thought about how much I love her. How much I love her love of arts and crafts, her colorful and bright spirit, and her quest to learn more and more about the world. Her innocence and natural sense of kindness. I want her to stay young. And I only want her to love me (and her dad and brother, ok and other family) for at least the next decade and a half.
*Frantically searches for the pause button*
At the time of this post Lil J is 5 years and 7 months.