Sleep raced from my mind as I sat up in bed. "WHAT????"
He started to walk off saying how Mrs. T was really proud of Addison and how they had been working on this quite diligently at school.
"I need to hear it!" I said. So I picked my body up out of the soft mattress and ran to the pink nursery where a certain little girl was fighting sleep herself.
"Count to 10!" We both shouted in excitement. "Addison count to 10 for us!!!"
She giggled, her blonde hair falling softly as her face's frame.
"7....10!" She proclaimed.
"No, start at 1. 1..."
We determined she was too tired (since it was waaaay past her bedtime) and left her alone.
Five minutes later I snuck back in, tucked her snugly in her bed, and then lay my head next to her.
"Addison? Will you count to 10 for me? Pretty please?"
She giggled again. "7...10!"
"No, start at 1!"
More giggles. Her entire body was shaking next to mine. Her soft arm was touching mine and her warm cheek bounced with the joy of her giggle. "7....10!"
"You're too tired to focus on this right now, huh?"
"Yup. 7....10!" by now the giggles had turned into rolling laughter. My girl, sweet and innocent, proud and intelligent lay next to me and laughed and laughed and laughed.
So I did what any self-respecting mother would do. I laughed too. And tickled a little. Until her laughter turned into "Bye bye! Papa's House. Bye bye!" So I kissed that warm cheek one more time, memorizing the feel of her skin against my lips. And then said "Good night. I'm so proud of you."
I tiptoed back to the warm spot in my bed, thinking about the warm spot in my heart that she puts there every single day. I didn't care when it was that all the other children started to count to 10. I didn't care that she wouldn't perform for me on cue. I didn't care that she is delayed and that celebrating counting to 10 as a 5 year old is not normal. All I cared about was that feeling that her laughter shared with me. A feeling of such giddy joy that I thought my heart my explode from the happiness of it all. All I cared about was celebrating her accomplishment in that moment.
I don't know why, but her accomplishments always bring with them such a rush. Yes, I'm happy when my boys accomplish things, but there's something different about Addison's accomplishments.
Sometimes I stop and ask myself, "Did I think she couldn't do it? Am I super surprised because I set low expectations for her?"
But then after searching I realize it's not that I doubted her. It's just that I'm SO PROUD of her that the pride can't help but explode into this big THING that takes over.
Addison is a smart girl. Today she is counting to 10...tomorrow she is conquering the world. Well, something like that. (-; I certainly wouldn't be surprised if she did.