The other night my phone rang. It was about 9:30. I knew immediately who it was. Even though my youngest daughter knows I am nearly comatose by 9:30 pm on work nights, she calls anyway. She always, without fail, says “I know you’re probably in bed but…”
This time she didn’t start out with that. Instead, she said “what was that thing you used to say to me all the time?”
I knew immediately what she meant. I nearly cried.
She kept trying to explain what she meant while I kept saying “are you ready?”
Finally she heard me and said yes, she’s ready.
I said: WHO DO YOU LOVE? She said: YOU
I said: WHO LOVES YOU? She said: YOU
I said: WHO DO I LOVE? She said: ME
I said: WHO LOVES ME? She said: ME
I can’t tell you how many hundreds, if not thousands, of times I said this with her. We never tired of it. Sometimes I would ask the questions really fast to see if she would mess up the “me’s” and “you’s”. Sometimes she did. And we would laugh uproariously. Because it’s that funny to a three year old. Or four year old. By the time she was fifteen maybe it wasn’t so funny….
When she called and asked I knew it wasn’t to just relive those moments of babyhood and childhood with me.
It was to establish a new joy with a new generation.
And I hope, with every parenting fiber I have, that in twenty five years or so one of her kids call her and say “hey mom what was that thing you used to say to me all the time?”
While she recalls to her not so young one any longer the long ago treasured words she is saying now, she’ll also be able to say “Mamo used to say that to me”. And then another twenty five or so years that child will ask their parent and that parent will say their Mamo used to say that, and her Mamo used to say that.
What matters more than that? In one hundred years think of how many generations could be expressing their dedication and love to one another. Like generations before them did. And generations after them will.
That’s epic stuff.