Last night as I was putting kid2 to bed, I hopped in beside her. She wiggled around to make me room, and asked if I was going to sing her to sleep. When I said yes, she cooed a happy little sound and tucked her head into my chest. I hum/warbled a few songs, rubbing her back and then said I loved her.
“I love you widest” she said.
“I love you farthest” I said. We kept going back and forth. Deepest, tallest, biggest, most – any and all words for vast, huge, hard-to-put-into words love.
“I love you gigantically” she said. I was kind of stumped…
“I love you with the most bubbles” I said.
She started to laugh. Not silly giggles, not just slightly amused. Honest to goodness belly laughter. Our back and forth stems (obvious to any parent) from the book “Guess How much I Love you.” We have simply modified that premise to fit our own warped sense of humour and competition. Kid1 and I have evolved it to epic proportions.
Kid1: “I love you more than all the soccer balls in all the world.”
Me: “I love you more than all the squares on all the soccer balls in all the world.”
Kid1: “Oooo that’s a good one. Hm. I love you more than all the blades of grass on all the soccer fields in all the world.” And on we go.
Traditions like this are mere drops in the bucket of parenting. They’re not something I did with my own parents (my bedtimes actually consisted of things like naming the 50 states in alphabetical order, something I can do to this day), but they help weave the “us” of our family into the shape that it is.
I hope my kids remember we stole ten minutes together at the end of random days to be playful and close. I hope at some point in their adult lives, they too will ignore the dishes, the banking, the packing, or the laundry to create a moment or begin a tradition with their children. I hope they get to smile from the satisfaction of knowing their kid1 or kid2’s last waking thought was one of joy and love.