"I missed Grandma so much and wanted to be with her," she said, smiling sweetly. It was a nice thing to say but as soon as we returned to my mother's, Eliza planted herself inches from the TV and truthfully didn't notice my mother was in the room.
I'm always posting cute things she says to me on Facebook but Facebook doesn't live forever. I'm not sure this blog will last forever here in cyberspace either but I have a better chance of reading my daughter's charming quotes here than on some fad that may be gone in ten years time.
One night, I looked at Eliza intently and said, "YOU make me happy."
Eliza returned my intent gaze and followed my intonation by replying "YOU make me love you."
The other night, I told Eliza how lovely she looked and she said, "Mama, you're beautiful. You're the most beautiful Mommy. I love you so much." In my sweats covered with Elena's snot, and my flat hair pressed unattractively to my face, I looked far from beautiful but there's my daughter, ever the diplomat.
When I was gone at work for a bit last month, she told my mother she wanted to get me flowers and make me a card. I came home to a lovely bouquet of store bought flowers courtesy of my mother and a card that said "Mama, I love you."
She can say some nasty stuff too. When we were having the horrific comb-outs during lice fest 2010 and I screeched in frustration when the nit I was aiming for disappeared as she turned her head she said something pretty nasty that I don't care to repeat. I walked away, saying "This is untrue and I don't deserve this."
And for a while, I stayed away from her, not to punish her but because I was hurt. She offered to do a time out and I told her she didn't have to, that it was more complicated than that. My feelings were hurt and it would take a while for me to feel better. She apologized profusely but I explained that sorry doesn't magically erase the hurt we feel.
She retreated into her playroom and returned with a hand made card. It had a heart with the word "Mama" written inside. I opened it to see a drawing of her and myself walking hand and hand through a field. Tears quickly streamed from my eyes. It felt like the greatest thing anyone has ever done for me. I hugged her tightly to me and told her I'd forgiven her, that I loved the card and I loved her more than words could ever express.
On that day, I also found myself so proud of her grand gesture. That a child that young could understand she'd done something hurtful and tried to repair it not with blank words but with action. It was truly beautiful.
But the other night, she said a real beaut, something I hope never to forget. As I pulled her blanket up to her chest and bent down for our last hug of the night, I dug my nose into her neck and said "You're my dream."
I used to sing to her as a child, "You're my dream, my dream realized." This phrase that I sometimes say to her is an offshoot of that song that I still feel so often when I look at both my girls.
She looked me in the eye and said, "You're my dream. I dreamed when I was in your tummy. A nice mama like you."
If I could open up a laptop and design my firstborn daughter exactly to my specifications, she would be my Eliza. I remember when I saw her face for the first time I said, "She looks exactly how I pictured her." Everyone about her is exactly what I could want in a daughter.
My dream realized, my girl, my love, my Eliza, Eliza P.