At the tender age of 18 months my daughter loves Goodnight Moon above all other books. Every night before she goes to sleep I read this to her.
We have a routine in which she climbs into my lap and waits patiently for me to begin reading. Ok, not so patiently. If abba takes time to clear his throat or take a breath she begins to urge me on, but that is ok at 18 months I don't expect her to act any differently.
This evening she changed things up for me. She climbed into my lap and said "I love you daddy." It is only within the last few weeks that she has learned to say "I love you" but tonight caught me off guard. For a moment I was choked up.
This little body was curled up against me, a tiny hand held three of the fingers of my right hand and a face showed nothing but the defintion of unconditional love. How could I not smile. How could I not hug her and promise her the world, my everlasting love and protection.
This may sound goofy, but I cannot remember the last time I felt so strong and powerful. Not in an arrogant, narcissistic or egocentric way. It was selfless and giving because my daughter made it that way, because I felt like I had to be her hero.
In that one gesture, that brief moment of time she gave so much to me. What can I say I am completely in love with 24 pounds of radiant beauty. Her eyes twinkle and like her brother she has a laugh that is infectious. Her smile just lights up her face and a room.
In a few minutes I'll go to sleep and the last thing I think about before sleep overtakes me will be that look and this special moment in time.