We're seated at the pizza parlor, scarfing down a quick dinner before we have to zoom off to the next thing. I have been rushing the kids around all day. We are all tired, cranky and a little bit sick of each other. I realize my daughter is narrowing her eyes at me. A minute or so later I glance up and she is still doing it.
"What on earth are you doing?" I ask.
"I'm concentrating with all my might," she says.
"I saw on television that if you concentrate really hard with your eyes, like this (she brings the point home by slitting them even further) you can make stuff happen."
"And what are you trying to make happen?"
"I'm trying to make you into a nicer woman."
My son walks into the room, looking forlorn.
"What's the matter, hon?"
"I sad," he says with a sigh.
"Why are you sad?"
"Sissy said I will never be a girl," he says.
"Well, that is true. You are a boy, and someday you will grow up and be a man, like Dadda."
"Dat is why I'm sad," he continues. "Because when I grow up I wanna be a Mom."
I am so touched by this I can hardly breathe. "Like me?" I ask, just needing to draw this validation out a little bit longer.
He looks up in surprise. "No. Like Miss Spider on da Sunny Patch" he says, talking about his favorite TV show at the moment. "I like bugs."
We are driving in the car, and Greta is chatting away.
"Mom, when you first saw Dadda did your heart flutter and your knees get weak?"
"Yes," I say, making a mental note to wean her off princess movies for a bit.
"Does that still happen? Like every time you see him?"
"Of course it does, honey!" I chirp, hoping this little tidbit will be repeated to my husband later for extra credit or something.
"What does your heart do when you look at me?" she asks.
"My heart fills up with so much love it can't all fit," I answer without hesitation.
She ponders this for a moment. "I bet I know what your heart does when you see Finn," she finally says. "I bet your heart just cries and cri --"
"Now that is not true, Greta" I interrupt her, going into Lecture Mode. "Just because I get frustrated sometimes doesn't mean I don't always love you and your brother no matter wha-"
"MOM" she interrupts. "I was going to finish, if you LET me, that I bet your heart just cries and cries tears of joy! ...... You get frustrated with me?"