It’s a question I am often asked.
That sweet little voice, inquiring with big dark eyes looking upward.
Perhaps her little hands even reach up to hold my cheeks as she looks me straight in the eye.
She may have been crazy all day: running laps, throwing fits (and toys), refusing naps and lunch; but in this moment I can’t resist.
When she says, “Again?” she isn’t merely asking to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the tenth time in a row. She doesn’t really want me to sing Twinkle Twinkle on repeat. She doesn’t need me to throw her in the air until I throw out my back.
What she needs is simple. She needs me. She needs love. She needs attention.
So, I comply and I am amazed to see that she doesn’t care if I read a different book, sing a different song, or begin a different game. As long as I am there and with her, really with her, she is happy.
“Again?” means “More.” It means I need you and I love you.
It’s the way that my 21-month-old will allow me to rock her in my arms and sing to her like the baby that she was.
It is the way I take in a deep breath and let go of the stress and the “need to’s” and “to do’s” of my day. It calms her, and it calms me, and it preserves forever a memory of something special and real. It strengthens the bond between myself and the being that grew within me just that. much. more.
It encapsulates so much more that that. It speaks so many more deeper truths than that. It echoes in my mind and my heart, and if I don’t listen, it will echo in my regrets.
What are your children saying to you?