Yesterday, we went to the hospital. No big deal for us – you’ve been to the hospital several times recently because Daddy has follow-ups for his surgery. You like it there; there are elevators, and a tree of balloons outside the gift shop. You especially like the parking meters. (E: “There’s the meter!” Daddy: “Yeah, we’re gonna put some coins in there.” E: “Not corn, Daddy – MONEY!”)
While Daddy was being attended to, you and I rode up the elevator to the third floor just for fun. You ran down the empty hallway, so independent, adventurous, adorably tow-headed. But when I told you that we had to go find Daddy, you said, “Okay,” and came right back. (This is not always the case when I ask you to do something.) As you took my hand, you said, “You’re my favourite friend, Mommy.”
Sweetie Pie, I’m so glad you have so many friends, in all shapes and sizes. You know that all the grown-ups who come over are your friends; so are the kids at day care, and everyone you meet at Daddy’s work and my school. You are loved by more people than we can count.
I am also thrilled beyond description to be your favourite friend (although we did determine on the way home that Daddy is also your favourite friend). We told you that you’re our favourite friend too, but you won’t fully understand what that means until you have your own child someday. We love you so much that the entire sky cannot hold it all.
And we will love you like that forever. As you grow, I’m sure we will not always be your favourite friends. You will get mad at us as you push the limits we set for you; you will think we are tough on you just to make your life harder; you will discover we are old and uncool (not to mention sentimental!); you will undoubtedly give us snarky, ungrateful attitude sooner or later; you will probably make some very large mistakes that will make us angry; you might even tell us you hate us at some point.
We will still love you, as fiercely as ever.
It’s wonderful to know that you, at this moment, see the world as full of friends. You are secure in the knowledge that you are loved. (The other night, after a group of friends left – E: “Where’s Heather?” Mommy: “She had to go home.” E: “I want my friends! I want Skye!” Mommy: “She had to go home too, but she loves you very much.” E: “Yep. And Heather does too.”) As far as you know, the world is chock-full of only people who smile and want to hug you and read you stories.
I know this impression will not last. Someday, you will know people who will be mean to you, for no good reason. (I am hoping we can raise you not to be one of the mean ones.) You will have your heart broken, possibly multiple times. I can hardly bear to think of it.
For now, and for as long as you’re willing, we will stick with you as your favourite friends. It’s our privilege.