The little person in my life strolled into the kitchen the other day, a bag of goldfish dangling from her fingertips. She flashed a syrupy sweet, if not patronizing smile at me and said “Don’t worry mommy. I love you even when you are angry.”
I was amused and slightly confused. “Sweetie, mommy’s not angry.”
I looked around and started laughing. “Baby girl, I’m really proud of you today! You’ve been a good listener and have had a great attitude.”
She smiled unwaveringly. “But momma, I really love you. Even when you are sad, I still love you.”
Clearly we were living in parallel universes. We had had a fun morning eating breakfast and taking our dog for a run. Now she was playing in the living room, while I was cleaning up the kitchen. There had been lots of laughter, and most importantly, no whining or fits. I was at a loss as to why my love thought I was upset.
I tried one more time to reassure her, worried that somehow I was conveying some kind of negativity unintentionally. “Sweet girl, I’m really happy and am having so much fun hanging out together.”
I swear, that smile of hers grew even brighter. “I know mommy. But I’m mad at you. You made me very frustrated.”
Oh. Well then. There was only one thing left to say. I knelt down in front of her and wrapped her in my arms, whispering in her ear, “I will always love you, no matter how frustrated, sad or upset you get. Even when you are mad at me, I still really love you.”
Giggles erupted as I smothered her in kisses, and whatever offense I had committed was long forgotten by the time we got around to cooking dinner later that afternoon. We made a creamy and bright soup with yellow bell peppers and my little foodie literally licked her bowl clean. She asked me what made her soup so delicious? I told her love. Lots and lots of love.