“She loves me… she loves me not… she loves me… she loves me not… uh oh…” and then I picked another daisy from the garden and continue, “She loves me… she loves me not… she loves me… she loves me not… SHE LOVES ME!”
With the biggest grin a five-year-old is capable of, I held onto that pedal like my life depended on it, and to some extent, it did. It made me giddy, even though the little game was slightly fixed. And by slightly, I mean entirely. But it wasn’t fixed by me.
I ran inside as quickly as I could, cheeks ruddy in my brazen yet bashful state. It was only a few hundred feet away, but for me, I traversed the Great Plains and hiked Mt. Everest by the time I reached the kitchen. And there was my mother, looking out the window, watching over me the whole time as she cleaned the dishes. “Mommy!” I ran up to her and she immediately dropped the dish she was slaving over to stoop and pick me up, bringing me to rest on her hip. I held the pedal out for her to take, “It’s a ‘she loves me’ petal.” Chuckling at my childish candor, she asked, “Who loves you, honey?”
I swear I don’t remember her tearing up from that because my attention span was likely already off to the next thing, but she claims she did. I do remember her saying, “I do love you, honey,” and giving me a kiss and the best hug I’ve ever received in my life.
I hadn’t fixed the game, she had. She always has, and continues to until this day. She taught me how to Love, and that’s the most critical lesson I ever learned.