When you hear “I love you” for the first time.

At 6:00 something in the morning Eliza said “mama, I uv you.”

She had her jammies on, just the top, and her hair was a mess, and she smelled like milk because she had just had a bottle and it tends to drip down her neck. She also kind of smelled like pee because she had just peed in the potty and was waiting for me to clean her and tuck her back in bed.

With romance, you expect the person who is telling you that they love you for the first time to be awesomely presentable. No pee smells. No sour milk in their neck rolls.

With parenting, your standards are a lot lower.

I looked at my little half naked stinky toddler and was filled with so much warm mommy fuzzies that my face exploded into the biggest smile. She sensed my vibe, the way kids expertly do, and she smiled back and hugged me.

That little girl put her arms around me and hugged me.

You guys, it was awesome!

Eliza was supposed to start speech therapy this month, but recently this girl has started to talk and every day she says more and more words. Today I got a full sentence out of her and it was “mama, I uv you.” If this isn’t parenting jackpot I don’t know what is.

I snuggled her and told her how much I loved her too. And that her rubbing her smoothie mustache on the white couch chair, and her taking off her pants sitting on the gray couch and peeing and then running away, or her waking me up on a Saturday at 6:00 something was no big deal because I madly deeply love her.

When people say “love wins” I think about that in the context of raising toddlers. Every crazy thing you have ever heard about toddlers are true. I could even probably tell you some new things too. But no matter, we love them anyway.

Love wins!

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