"Molly loves mine"

“Sacramentals” in the National Catholic Reporter (September 5, 2008).

After saying prayers with my daughter, then telling her a short story with only the nightlight on, we spend a few quiet minutes rocking in a peaceful meditation before I place her in her crib for the night.

On one such night I broke the silence, I suppose feeling especially grateful that day.

I whispered to her, “Daddy loves Molly.”

She repeated me, using her word for “me” – “mine,” saying “Daddy loves mine.”

I went on: “Mommy loves Molly.”

Again she repeated: “Mommy loves mine.”

I told her that her little brother loves her: “Michael loves Molly.”

She echoed: “Michael loves mine.”

And then with her inseparable stuffed animal: “Ducky loves Molly.”

“Ducky loves mine,” she repeated.

I smiled and nodded in affirmation at my little girl. A silent minute went by and then she looked me in the eyes and proclaimed, “Molly loves mine!”

I smiled at her wisdom.

What a lesson to be taught – to love oneself!

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