"Someday, mama, I will be getting married, did you know?"
She is dancing around the bedroom while I brush my teeth and put on a few swipes of wakening mascara. Somehow, her statement doesn't frighten me or make me contemplate the rush of progressive time; I smile and giggle back at her tenderly voiced dream.
From where she's acquired the dream, I don't really know. Mia, her inspiration in most flights of fancy, hasn't lately mentioned the prospect of a groom in any near or far future. Nevertheless, this talk of marriage has popped up once before, and now here again, in the bedroom before our day begins.
"You're going to be married?" I repeat, in awe, with big eyes and much encouragement for her to continue.
She dips her chin, bats her eyelashes -- such coy and alluring behavior from a three-year-old, especially enchanting because she's not big on princess movies yet; this is pure Lauren's imagination -- and goes on:
"Yes." Her hands are crossed behind her back as she sways on one foot while the other points delicately to one side. "I'm going to be married and...and then I will dance with my daddy."
Now this draws the first true heart-tug from me. Such sweetness and innocent hope...I turn around from the sink where I've been occupied, and soak up the vision she creates.
Her pose; her dipped head; her favorite, purple-flowered outfit (half a size too small on her growing frame); her glowing, light-brown, wavy hair.
And at the peak of her rosebud upper lip, a splotch of dark blue marker marrs the perfection in such a stunning Charlie Chaplin imitation that I must -- must -- swoop her into my arms for a hug and kiss before we move into the day's adventures.
Which will begin with a warm washcloth to the upper-lip.