Friday, January 20, 2012

Even little actions speak louder than words

Jewel ran from the back of the house to the door to wrap me up in a hug last night.

"Daddy, your coat is cold. The buttons on your coat are cold."

"What if I open it up and wrap you up in it. Is it warm?"

"Yes. It's warm."

She was laughing and bouncing up and down the whole time, which made me smile. Usually, when I tell her that I love her and ask if she loves me, I get the two-year-old answer: No. But, since she seemed so happy to see me, I thought I'd give it a shot.

"I love you, sweetie. Do you love me?"

"I love you too, Daddy."

We snuggled like that until she had to squirm away.

I started to hang up my scarf and coat, and put away my hat and gloves. I walked down the hall and kissed 3B and Mama hello as they sat making pictures on our bed. According to Jewel, that was enough dawdling.

"Daddy, get into your play clothes."

"OK, OK...I'm taking off my suit pants now."

"Fold them."

I folded them over a hanger and asked her if that was adequate. She nodded.

"Put your jeans on."

I did that and put away my security badge for work.

"Read me the dictionary. I'm going to pick a letter from the back cover."

Our bed is one of those Princess and the Pea contraptions, with a total height of eight feet or so. Mama and I actually pole vault into it every night, so I asked Jewel, "Climb in yourself, or do you want me to lift you up?"

Little Miss I'll-Do-It-Myself surprised me this time: "Lift me up."

So I did, and we lay down to read Richard Scarry's Storybook Dictionary. She picked a letter from the text on the back cover and we read all the entries for it.

Even if later, as I was kissing her in her crib, Jewel told me that she didn't love me, I didn't mind at all. I  could still feel the warmth of her embrace as I came through the door and it still made me smile.

"Good night, sweetie. I love you."

Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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