I tucked my Gator into bed last night, snuggled her up, kissed her forehead, and told her I loved her. She laid there quietly while I was walking away, and then I heard a little voice call out, "Mommy?" I knew if I went back in the room I might not get away without tears running down her little face, so I called back from where I was and asked what she needed.
The little voice responded with, "I need another hug".
I almost told her she was fine and to go to sleep. I almost said not right now, I can't come. I almost just said no. But instead I had a thought. I thought about how blessed I am to have that little voice calling out to me. I thought about how absolutely perfect the little owner of that voice makes my life. I thought about what it would be like to not have the chance for that hug she was asking for. And so I climbed up from my chair and walked back to her. She looped her arms around my neck in what could only be called a bear hug, and left a slobbery mark on my cheek with her kisses. I once again tucked her in, kissed her, and walked away. Moments later, the same little voice called out once again. I again asked what it is that she needed, and reminded her that she needed to go to sleep or she would be too sleepy to get up for school in the morning.
The little voice responded with, "But I just wanted to say I love you".
There have been too many times when my child's wants have gone unrecognized, because I'm too exhausted, too busy, too overwhelmed. She calls for glasses of water when she is trying not to fall asleep. She begs for another book when she wants someone to sit with her. She complains of itchy sheets when she wants an excuse to get up. And I always say no, say go to sleep, say not right now.
But how could a mommy say no to that little voice, when they just want to tell you they love you? I am so blessed to have this little girl in my life. She makes every single day a challenge, sometimes she makes me crazy, she is stubborn and feisty and a little bit chaotic. But she makes my days worth waking up to, and my nights worth making that extra trip to her bedside.
Because really, I just wanted to say I love you one more time too.