Arrine and I were grocery shopping the other day. She was steering the green rocket-ship shopping cart, enjoying herself as we turned the corners and I made sound effects to go along with the rocket-ship. We stopped in an aisle and I grabbed something from the shelf. As I came around the cart and leaned over to place it in the cart, my head came closer to her, as she was facing forward in the rocket-ship. Arrine reached out, touched my head with a light stroked and asked, “Mommy? Are you ok?”
I froze. I looked at this little girl, unable to grasp the idea that she would be picking up on anything, worried about her mommy, and asking her if she was ok. Then I realized what had just happened – Arrine was only imitating me. It made me realize for the first time, that while we are together, her in a shopping cart, or stroller or car seat, I will lean into her, gently stroke her hair and ask, “Arrine? Are you ok?” Just as a way to check in on her, make sure she knows that I am there for her, even if I am multitasking at the same time. Just a way to connect with her in our busy lives.
Then I smiled at her, and replied, “Yes, Arrine. Mommy is ok. Thanks for asking.” And inside I reassured myself that it was ok to lie to this innocent, beautiful, perfect little girl, in cases like this.