I have been patiently waiting to see the sign of Arrine loving me. Really loving me. As in she herself is recognizing loving me. I tell her over and over again that I love her, but she has yet to say it back to me. I know she will one day. And I know that she loves me as her mom and shows her excitement to see me and comes to me when she is hurt. But I have never felt that real love from her, or her recognition of it. Does that make sense?

Until last night.

My poor girl still had a fever and we were going through her bedtime routine. I had her wrapped up in her pink kitty towel after her bath and she was laying on her bedroom floor as I dried her off. She was fussing so I started to sing to her. Each time I started singing a song she would say, “No.” And I would try another one. She finally accepted the lullaby that amm and Charles used to sing to me, Over In Killarney. This was the first song I ever sang to her and I remember singing it to her when we were still in the hospital. Each time I sing it to her I think of amm and how she sang to me.

So as I sang, I took out one leg of hers and slowly massage her with lotion, then tucked her leg back in, taking out her other leg. I did this with her arms and then rubbed her belly with lotion under her towel. Like how it’s done when you get a professional massage. And during this process, singing to her and keeping her snuggled up while massaging her, she looked into my eyes. And my heart stopped, then fluttered. I felt we connected as we never have before. It was a look of love in her eyes. Her understanding that I will always do everything for her. She is my priority. She loves me. And I wondered at that moment, if amm and I had shared the same exchange when I was just tiny too.

We finished our bedtime routine as every other night – sleeper, books and being laid down in her bed. But this time, I knew that she knew she loved me.

(Or the look was just her being completely dopey from the fever and I completely misinterpreted it.)