For a time, Kaya was obsessed with Giants. One day she said to me, “Mommy, I love you as big as a Giant.” A lot of love then. This progressed to me telling her I love her as much as the Giant reaching waaaay up into the sky and waving in all of the stars. She loved this so followed it up with a “I love you as big as a Giant touching all the stars and the Moon! That’s a lot of love!” Eventually this becomes our daily exchange.
“I love you as many stars fill the sky, and to the moon and beyond.”
Then she finishes it off with “That’s a lot of love!”
Unfortunately, being three and a sleeper, she had never actually seen a sky full of stars. It is her sole goal and desire to see stars while out camping. Her wish is granted.
The first night she managed to see the almost-full-moon before crashing in exhaustion. So on night two she is determined to stay up. She is treated to a delectable full moon, rising over the aspens surrounding our campsite. Then that first star. The glorious first star that inspires a song,
Star light, star bright
The first star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have this wish I wish tonight.
Upon seeing star number two, that is enough for her. After a day of treasure hunting, swimming, walks, playgrounds and hammocks, she is ready for sleep. Her early departure (okay, 9:30pm is not exactly early) leaves only me disappointed. I want her to see that infinite wonder of a sky full of stars. Just in case she hasn’t figured it out, I want her to understand how vast my love really is for her.
Dreams of bears morphing into cows are well under way before that night sky appears however.
At around 11pm, with the campfire almost out, I give one last wistful look into the sky and crawl into the tent. Just as I am snuggling into my sleeping bag, a whimper. Then a full out cry. Though still asleep, Kaya has to pee. So I carry her out of the tent and into my mom’s moterhome. Mid pee, she is awake so on our way back to the tent, we have a moment.
I stop and tell her to look up.
I will never forget her eyes in that moment. From sleepy and disoriented to wonder and awe.
The full moon glitters in her now wide open eyes as she cranes her neck staring up and up. Her mouth gapes and she resists any blinks for fear of those twinkles going away. You are not dreaming my love, they will not disappear. Then I whisper,
“I love you as many stars fill the sky and to the moon and beyond.”
Though she does not say it, her eyes do. Dancing in the moonlight, they marvel,
‘That is a lot of love.’