Yesterday morning, Sophie demanded choices, as she always does, so I yanked two tee shirts out of her very disorganized drawer.
Funny — one was a tie dye with a heart in the middle. The other, her “Sweet Heart” tee. She chose the Sweet Heart. I love that shirt, too. It’s got a fairly realistic looking heart on it, covered in sprinkles, designed by a way-cool local artist named Roy Wasson Vale. (He got his start painting signs at Trader Joe’s! You can find his stuff at MADE: www.madephx.com)
Sprinkles and hearts, two of my favorite things. I don’t usually like to think about anything medical (Grey’s Anatomy aside), anything that points toward our mortality, but as a mom I have been forced to look at — and appreciate — the heart. Sophie had open heart surgery at 4 months and 4 years, and yeah, I’ll admit it, I have a bit of a heart motif going. I figure your kid goes through that, you can get away with being a little sappy.
Sophie’s heart is strong. (I hate even typing that — hold on while I knock wood. OK, I’m back.) Ray took her to the cardiologist on Tuesday for a 6-month check up; so it’s funny that those heart shirts emerged the next day. Sophie doesn’t talk much about her heart surgery, though sometimes she likes to recall the dramatic moment when she came out of the anesthesia and croaked, “apple juice, apple juice.” (Not my own favorite moment to recall. That sucked.)
Sometimes we do talk about her heart. Tuesday evening, I took the girls over to an end of the year open house at the school, then we grabbed a bite with Ms. X. As I tried to take Sophie out of her car seat at the restaurant, she announced, “I don’t love you! I love Ms. X.”
I know Sophie loves me. She was tired and cranky (full moon hangover?) and just trying to play me.
But I try not to encourage such behavior (I hate the game my girlfriends I used to play called “Pick Between” — use your imagination — when applied to an almost 6 year old’s loved ones) so I tried something new.
“Hey Sophie,” I said. “Stop and ask your heart if there’s room to love BOTH Ms. X and me.”
Sophie pulled the neck of her dress wide (darn, that’s a cute hand me down), stuck her head inside, and did just that. She emerged with a grin.
“My heart says love both you and Ms. X!” she announced triumphantly. And we went inside to get our El Pollo Loco.