I’m sitting on the couch, deep in thought, planning my to-do list for the next day. Despite the day only having twenty-four hours, the list seems far too long. I frown, knowing that tomorrow hasn’t even happened yet, and already I’m behind.
My five year old sits next to me, dressed in her Hello Kitty pajamas and smelling like apple shampoo. “Hey Mom, what’s that?” Eden asks me.
“It’s a list of the things I want to do tomorrow, ” I answer her absentmindedly.
“Wow, Mom. You do A LOT,” Eden gives me a big hug, “I just love you.”
“Thanks babe, I love you too.” I say as I struggle to free my arms from her tight grip of affection. “But I really need to figure this out.”
“No Mom,” Eden says adamantly, “I mean I really, really love you. So much.” She takes her hands to hold my face, making sure we look each other in the eyes. “I love you so much, even when you don’t give me what I want. I’m just full of love for you.”
I see by her expression that she is, indeed, full of love for me and suddenly I am amazed by my good fortune. I am well and truly adored by this precious, innocent, lovely person.
With that realization, the weight of unemployment and the burden of a seemingly endless supply of projects around the house evaporate, leaving me renewed. Refreshed.
I toss the to-do list to the side and scoop up my five year old. “Really?” I ask her. “Well, I love you so, so much that I can’t even stand it. In fact, if I don’t tickle you soon I might just burst with love.”
Eden shrieks with delight as I chase her around the couch. We laugh together as I catch her and, as warned, begin to tickle her belly.
Even after I stop, she keeps giggling, as she snuggles onto my lap and lays her head on my shoulder.
“Don’t you need to finish your list Mom?” Eden asks me, hoping I’ll say no.
“Babe, this is the most important thing on my list.” I tell her, and it’s true.