Three Little Words

There are a handful of moments in your life that you just know while it's happening you're going to remember for the rest of your life.

Motherhood is full of them; the first time your child smiles at you (and you know it's not gas), the first time you hear them say "mama", where and when their first steps take place, and this...

After spending a few hours last Sunday at the world's most beautiful shopping mall, South Coast Plaza, located dangerously close to our new home in Orange County, we were in the car driving home and I was asking Lucas if he had a good time and reviewing all of the fun things we did and saw.

We talked about the cars at the toy store and the dinosaur on display in the window, whose mouth would open and shut, the elevator button he pushed, the escalator we rode, the big balloons for sale in the center of the mall, the colorful horses on the carousel (that we also rode) that went up and down and the great dinner he ate.

It was an animated conversation and he was responding enthusiastically to all of my questions and being really cute and playful.

As we were nearing home, he let out a perfectly timed "ouf" as in, "wow, we did do a lot and boy, am I exhausted!". Todd and I both giggled and I said, "I love you, Lucas." To which he replied...

"I do too".

And just like that, I welled up and got tears in my eyes.

Okay, so it wasn't a direct "I love you", but he knew what he was saying and it melted my heart.

Since then, Daddy (of course) has gotten several actual "I love yous", but I'm still only getting the "I do too".

Whether he means he loves himself or me, I'll take it and I'll always remember the first time he said it.

For those of you with today off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I hope you are enjoying it with the ones you love.

This piece was featured on Nichole's blog, In These Small Moments, in her weekly feature, Small Moments Spotlights -- Week 3 on February 4, 2011.

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