I was saying goodnight to Allie last night. She didn't want me to hug her closely. She wanted me to look at her face-to-face with us both lying on our sides. We looked at each other for a good while, staring, staring, staring.
Then, she started a copying game, where she mimicked my movements, repeated every sound I made and said every word I said. You know the one I'm talking about–it's the game that drove you NUTS when your siblings did it to you (somehow I always ended up pinning my brother to the ground when we "played" that game). I know it's crazy, but, when I play with the kids, this game always gets me laughing hysterically. Something special happened this time and I wanted to share it with you. Here is how it went down:
me: You are funny.
Allie says to me: You are funny.
me: You are smart.
Allie says to me: You are smart.
me: You are beautiful.
Allie says to me: You are beautiful.
me: You have the best smile.
Allie says to me: You have the best smile.
me: You are so creative.
Allie says to me: You are so creative.
me: You have fabulous ideas.
Allie says to me: You have fabulous ideas.
me: I love spending time with you.
Allie says to me: I love spending time with you.
me: You always make me laugh.
Allie says to me: You always make me laugh.
After which, we promptly broke into hysterical mirrored giggles. The giggles is the normal part.
What I found special was how the copying part dropped away immediately. Sure, she was repeating my words, but she was really "saying" them to me. Her words poured into me, filling my whole being. I have no doubt that she believed those sentiments about me just as strongly as I knew them about her. I felt good and safe and full of love. I hope she went to bed feeling the very same thing.