This might not be interesting or funny or endearing to you, but I have to write this down before I lose it completely.
Last night, Ryan & I layed in bed, lazily wasting the remains of the day with Jay Onrait and Sportscentre on TV when we hear a sound through the adjoining wall so distracting we have to mute the volume to be sure of what we’re hearing. Yes. Yes, that’s singing. All the Ladies have been asleep for hours. HOURS. Is someone singing their sleep because ZOMG, SofaKing cute! <giggle, giggle> <turn up volume> <get lost in the nothingness>
Suddenly, two little feet hit the ground running and moments later Ryan has got a pillow over his mouth to smother gut-bursting laughter. I glance over and see just one Annika eye, peering around the door frame, obviously smiling. A giggle escapes her as she climbs over Ryan and nestles herself in between us. We can’t help ourselves, we’re powerless to her charms and before we know it both Ryan & I have flipped toward her and are telling her she’s so pretty, she’s so funny and asking her to sing again.
We chat for a little while, Daddy flips over intent on going to sleep and I find The Blind Side on another channel. I expect Nik to lose interest and fall asleep instantly. She surprises me and snuggles deeper into my arms, eyes wide open and twinkling, thumb in her mouth.
“Did you know,” I say to her, “that before she was Maëlle, Mommy & Daddy named her Kollyns?”
<nods from Midtown>
“Which one do you like better? Maë or Kollyns?”
<she stares into open space, contemplating>
“Maë!” she answers, a little too loud. And I shush her with a giggle.
I tell her, “You were always Annika. Always. We never thought about naming you anything else. Is that what you would pick? Do you think you would pick a different name if you could choose?”
<more contemplation. This time deeper, the thumb comes out of her mouth, balances on her bottom lip & her green eyes squint a little>
“Nika.” she says to me. “I like Nika. It’s me!”
<cue Mommy heart explosions!>
“Annika?” I ask her, “Did you know that I think you are so pretty?” and she answers by nodding and grinning, eyes wild. I tell her all the time, she must know by now. “Did you know that I’m so very proud of how smart you are?” More nodding, she snuggles even closer. “You are my most favourite Nika in the history of forever and ever” I tell her.
She turns to me and she says, “Cause I’m YOUR Nika!” as if she’s revealing some long-held truth of the world.
And, though I hate sharing my bed, last night I gladly let her tiny little body occupy the space between her Dad & I. I let her legs drape over mine, I let her steal my blanket. Because it’s THIS, it’s these little unexpected moments that solidify their bond to me, and mine to them…this is the reason I’m a mom. This is what a childhood is made of. This and million other things, but last night I really felt like I’m doing something right by these little lives.
She’s my Nika. I’m her Mom. He’s her Dad. They are her sisters. The end…forever.