It's funny - I knew as a parent that I'd experience a greater depth of love than I ever had before, and I knew that things my kids would do would make me feel all happy and giddy inside. I knew that, but I didn't realize just how happy my heart could actually be over the smallest and seemingly most insignificant moments.
Example 1: Ellie learned how to say the word "yeah" and knows how to use it in the proper context. Ask if she's hungry and she'll give you the correct answer. Turns out, yes and no are fantastic methods to take the guess work out! Every SINGLE time she says "yeah", my heart melts a little. It's seriously the best and cutest thing ever. Me: "Ellie are you happy?" Ellie: "yeah." This morning she woke up a bit early and in tears, so I went in to rock her back to sleep. Peter was still home and she knew this, and was crying painfully for her daddy. He came in and was trying to soothe her and said "Ellie, are you going to have fun today?" Through sobs she answers "yeah." And my heart melted. And it's true - we're going to have some fun today and she knows it. My sweet girl.
Example 2: Ellie fell in the tub a couple weeks ago and chipped one of her front teeth. Sigh - it was inevitable. We took her to the dentist Monday and I could not stop gushing about how proud I was of her. Just a trip to the dentist, and her "exam" took all of 90 seconds - just laying back on the dentist's lap, opening her mouth and letting him take a quick look at her tooth. Seriously though - so, so proud of my big girl. She left with two small prizes (bouncy balls), one new toothbrush and shortly thereafter got her milkshake reward.
Example 3: Yesterday I was completely caught off guard by her, and it's left me almost floating with happiness since. It was nice and warm yesterday and we went to my mom's house to cool off. One of my mom's neighbors got her a puddle jumper life jacket to swim with (best thing ever!) and we decided to go down to the lake to try it out - just the two of us. Dash was sleeping so my mom watched him, and off Ellie and I went. She's a fish (she's Nemo, as she likes to call herself) and she was having a great time splashing around in the shallow end of the beach, playing with toys and another kid. Soon, some neighbors joined with their two year old (wearing his own puddle jumper), and they started leaving the shallow end and swimming out toward the dock (probably 75 feet from the beach and obviously in deep water). I was sitting on the beach watching Ellie (carefully!) and before I realized it, she had - on her own - paddled out toward them and was treading water by herself (with the life jacket)!. I hopped into the water and basically did nothing but swim right alongside her, occasionally giving her a hand or guiding her, while she swam all the way out to the dock, grinning the entire time. Oh, my heart. My sweet girl and I were actually swimming together. I still can't get over how happy this made me. She swam to the dock, paddled around it, climbed up the ladder and then got back in the water, paddled about some more and eventually we made our way back to the beach. At one point, she reached for me, gave me a big water hug and said triumphantly "MY mommy." Such happiness.
I won't forget Dash. He makes my heart soar too, but in slightly more predictable, baby kinda way. His smiles are incredible and the way his eyes follow me across the room remind me that we belong to each other. He's a lover most definitely - a much more smiley baby than Ellie was, but he saves his best smiles for me. I can calm him like no one else can (hello, boobs), but even just being near him will calm him down. I find myself just staring at his sweet face and wondering who he is and what he's thinking. I can't wait to learn him more.