My wonderful, 5-month pregnant sister-in-law Rethsey surprised and floored my Mother by flying in from Boston for a visit with my nearly 2 year old niece in tow. It's amazing how much you love your own kids, feeling your heart muscles easily shatter any previous notions your capacity for love; in the same regard, your nieces (and nephews, I'm sure) summon up another new ballfield of tenderness. My little darling niece, Nayeli, who calls me Hae, had me at her"Si". Her pronunciation of the word should be declared a national treasure.
Sometimes Halle has a hard time falling asleep in her new room. Plus, it's been a little over a month that we turned her crib into a big girl bed, so she's got a lot on her plate right now. Just tonight, I laid down next to her on the floor where she was cuddling with her big puppy plush dog and her tiny red wagon and I started singing a couple of Oldies songs to her. She's really into being petted on the head right now, and I love that she lets me fawn over and dote on her.
Most nights, when Brad or I say "I love you!", she'll say, "Uh-huh." or "MrrHrrr" with a pacifier. But at the times of the day she feels closest to you, she'll offer up her most honest, organic declarations of love. This is what I live for. People without children, they just can't possibly understand how a sighing, sleepy toddler unexpectedly saying "I love you" as they move in and out of dreams can make you suddenly realize that you've lived your whole life to be in this one, single moment. My life being put in perspective in a room full of talking Elmos and not resenting a second of it. And it's so much more than I could've wanted it to be.
PS. I know. Pictures. Soon.