One picture I wish to keep in my mind with me always is the picture of Lily Ava's grubby little four-year-old (today!) hands looking for flowers for Mommy. It was positively precious.
Because today was Lily Ava's birthday, I some how ended up with Lily Ava in the back seat of my car as I drove to the nearest craft store, looking, not only for a little something for Lily Ava, but for a gift for Mary Asta, because I won't be here for her birthday.
Upon getting there, the fake flowers were the first thing both of us saw. I love fake flowers, and if I could, I'd probably have lots of vases of them everywhere during the winter. Lily Ava seemed to have the same thoughts, though of a particular flower, or bunch of flowers.
She immediately trundled up to them and declared, patting them, "I want for Mommy."
Just a little bit touched, I said, "Well, we'll see. Maybe when we come back this way."
We skipped (literally) through the rest of the store, looking for things. We ran to the bathroom, because for once, the older sister needed to go, and not the younger one. We trotted back to the kids craft section and sang "We're following the leader" from Disney's Peter Pan.
Lily Ava version: "We'ewe following da leadew, da leadew, da leadew..."
There were many exclamations of, "I wan' buy dis for Asta. (Mary Asta)" and simply, "I wan' dis." She went gung-ho with my idea of a paint-by-number kit that had three paint-by-numbers in it. She would have gone gung-ho if I'd suggested getting Mary Asta a set of Transformer Legos (if they make those).
On our way back to the front of the store, I told her to go find the flowers. She found them, pretty much on her own, and buzzed right through every type of flower, until she'd found the ones she saw when we first came in. She wanted just those, none other.
When I asked her which colors she wanted, she grabbed a handful of the pale blue blossoms, not even thinking that they might be in bunches. I had to help. After seeing the bunches, she was a bit more careful. I held the pale blue, and then a darker blue, and then a pink, and then a mauve color as she reached for bunch after bunch, determined to find the best for Mommy. I finally had to limit it to four different types. Then I pointed out that she had two blue types, and did she want to find a different color, a color other then blue. For a four-year-old, she was sharp. She pulled the pale blue out of my hands and put it back, before reaching for a pale peach bunch. She was certain that she wanted all of those flowers for Mommy.
We went to the cash register. She carried the flowers. She proudly stuck them on the counter and grasped the counter staring at the flowers and the woman checking us out as if to make sure that it was all done properly.
After all was said and done, she carried the flowers (in her own baggy that the lady gave her) out to the car, into the car, on the way home, out of the car, and then finally into the house, where she proudly presented them to Mom.
"We bot dees." She proclaimed, holding them out to Mom, while standing on a bench so she could see Mom's face better.
"How pretty!" My mother exclaimed. "For your birthday?"
"No." Lily Ava was emphatic. "Der for you."
Eventually Mom understood. They now sit proudly in a vase in our downstairs guest bathroom, making it just a little friendlier down there.
Oh to have the determination and simple love of a four-year-old.