Her shyness gives her away; this is something she's partially afraid to ask but needs to know. "Do you love me the most? Do you love me more than your books? More than your Bible? More than Grandma? More than..." "Nora, I love you very, very much, and I also love all of those people and things you mentioned, too." Her eyes begin to tear.
She must be thinking she doesn't love me. I'm not important.
"Do you know how you love me? And how you love Daddy? And Grandma and Grandpa? And your cousins and Mrs. Backhus? You love all of those people, right?"
She knows where this is going. "Did you know, Nora, that God gives me all of my love, and He gives me so much of it that I can give everyone in my life lots and lots of love? And my love for you can fill the moon. It could fly to the moon and back and the moon and back a million times. I love you so much, I don't even know how much it is. No one can count that high. And I love Grandma and Grandpa, too. You can't run out of love, Nora. And you are my one and only precious daughter named Nora, and there is no one else in the world like you and I love you. I will always love you. No matter what you do or say. No matter how angry you get at me or how sad you get or how happy you feel or how squirmy you feel or itchy. I love you even when you get really itchy and when you are hungry and full."
I think she's feeling better because she hugs my head in a vice grip. She looks into my eyes and says, "You look different." "Oh, like happier or sadder or..." "You are getting bigger. Your eyes are really big and you have brown spots on your skin." This might be her way of saying, "Mom, you're putting on some weight and I think those are age spots appearing." I don't mind. Maybe she just hasn't seen me this okay in awhile and this looks different to her.
I wonder what she must think, this girl who skips everywhere she goes and has grown up with a mom who vacillates between crises like a trapeze artist. But I have never, not once, stopped loving her. Never will.