Yesterday, Vivi asked me something very important. She said, "Mama, what is love?"
Oh boy! Have I been trying to figure that one out for a while now. I thought, somewhat cynically, it is when mama frantically chases you down the sidewalk praying the whole time that a car won't back out of a driveway and hit you. Or it's when I read Where the Wild Things Are for the millionth time or clean up your poop. That is definitely love.
What I really wanted to explain is that love is a warm, tingly feeling inside but since Vivi is still potty-training I thought that might confuse things.
Since Vivi came along, love has been more than a tingly feeling though. It is like my heart is swollen-- a feeling that I could just explode from the weight of my adoration for my little family. It's something that I find impossible to contain and certainly one that I probably couldn't convey to a toddler without scaring the hell out of her.
Ultimately, I told Vivi that love is a lot of hugs and kisses and snuggles from people very important to her. I don't think that was a satisfying answer for either of us. But, hey, I'm no metaphysician.
When my husband asked her, "Vivi, what do you think love is?" She paused and then asked for a dog.
Of course, the answers are always far simpler than we could possibly imagine.