"Mom loves Lauren..."
"Lauren loves Mom."
This exchange happens at least ten times a day at my house. There's something about this ritual that is so complete in it's simplicity. It's anchoring when the storms of life roll in, big ones and little ones. It's like pure truth - life stripped down to the barest of essentials, and when all is said and done, all that remains is this simple truth; Mom loves Lauren, Lauren loves Mom.
So when she's upset and her little heart is broken, remember... Mom loves Lauren. And when she's all smiles and laughter, reveling in the joy of being 4 years old and carefree, she looks at me bright-eyed and reminds me, Lauren loves Mom.
But one can't be said without the other. There's a reciprocity to our ritual. She always looks at me expectantly when she tells me Lauren loves Mom, waiting to hear how I love her so. Sometimes she'll tell me Mom loves Lauren, and she is equally expectant - waiting to make sure I know how she loves me too. It's cyclical, without end. Mom loves Lauren, Lauren loves Mom.
Grace and I have a similar ritual, but ours is written as opposed to spoken. I'm not sure why that's so significant to her, but that's how she loves to communicate. She gets so excited and pours her heart into her letters. She always keeps her drawings and notes a secret so when she finally shows me, she too looks at me expectantly at the unveiling of those three words; Grace loves Mom. I hear you baby, and Mom loves Grace.
Grace has a light pad that you can write on using a light source and the words will glow for a few seconds. Every night after we pray and sing together, she has me write her a glowing note. I'll write her some form of Mom loves Grace. Every night it's the same; she'll grab the pad in her hands, read the note, fall back on her pillow, and her face is happiness and contentment and she is ready to rest. It's how we end our day together, with the reminder that Grace loves Mom, Mom loves Grace.
I feel like we say so much with those six words. I feel like I'm telling them that I am yours and you are mine, forever and ever. It's the language of our hearts. I know life is going to get more complicated and convoluted the older they get, but I hope we can always simplify it down to
Mom loves Lauren, Lauren loves Mom
Mom loves Grace, Grace loves Mom.