We encountered a brief spring thunderstorm this evening. As thunder rumbled in the distance, Madeline asked, "What's noise?" I told her it was thunder and that a thunderstorm was coming and its rain would help all the flowers grow and make the trees and grass greener. She thought about this for a moment and seemed satisfied until she heard another growl of thunder. Her eyes widened and she reached her arms up to me. "Mommy, pick Ma-Ma up." (She frequently refers to herself in third person as "Ma-Ma.")
The storm passed through quickly and later that night we were sitting in the dark together, winding down for bedtime when she asked, "Where tunderstorm at?"
I told her it went away and that the flowers weren't thirsty anymore.
"Ma-Ma not scared!" she exclaimed.
"I'm so glad," I replied "I love thunderstorms. There's nothing to be afraid of."
"Ma-Ma like tunderstorms, too," she agreed. "Mommy make Ma-Ma feel better. Mommy pick Ma-Ma up."
"I'm glad I made you feel better."
"Tunderstorm went bye-bye. Tunderstorm went to go see Mommy," she said.
"The thunderstorm went to see its Mommy?" I asked. "Do thunderstorms have mommies?" I asked.
"Nam," she replied with alacrity. (Madeline also frequently says, "Nam" instead of "yes." We have no idea where she picked up this verbal quirk.)
"Mommy, hold Ma-Ma's hand," Madeline said. I reached for her tiny hand and smiled in the darkness. There are days when I feel like I'm not doing much at all and wonder if Madeline even notices how I pour so much of my life into taking care of her, but then she says something like this and I know that I've made an impression on her. After all, in her world, mommies are so important that even thunderstorms go home to them.