Today I received my very first "I love you mom," from Maria. Only, it sounded something like: "I wov-ee you mom." It was spontaneous and sweet and made me feel LOVED. She has taken to making toasts. Anything cylindrical will do for a cup. She just used a checker piece, which she tapped against my checker piece and said "Chee-o," which means "cheers." Then we took dainty sips from our tiny cups. And we toasted again, sipped, sighed, toasted, sipped, sighed. Good stuff.
We were all having breakfast when she declared her love for me.
Then Alex asked Maria, "Do you love mommy?"
"Ya, uh-huh, wov-ee, wov-ee, wov-ee." Maria threw some more love around the room.
Max wanted some: "Do you love Max, Maria?"
"Uh-huh. Wov-ee Maa," she replied.
What happened next was slightly less adorable. In the parking lot at school she went in to full melt down mode. It was loud, and wet, and all absorbing of her senses and limbs. She flailed when I held her, she wailed when I consoled her. We drew a small, very sympathetic crowd. Teachers and parents, students, a lot of people know Maria and they were surprised and concerned to see her crying. First grader, Michaela asked her "What's wrong?" Her mom, Betty, was able to give her a small hug. Ms. Rachel called out to Maria from where the middle school was saluting the flag, "Maria why are you sad?" "She never cries," two teachers remarked to each other. Maria made a sigh, the sound of which seemed to release her grief, and she waved to everyone calling "Good-by, good-by."
I wov-ee Maria too.