The same week that my toddler almost gouged her eye out she began speaking in full sentences.
Which means that the first time she looked at me and, unprompted and out of nowhere, said, "Love you, mama," her eye was almost completely swollen shut and painted the darkest purple. (I can't bring myself to post photos of how terrible her eye got two days after her fall. It was really sad and made me very blue for a while there, although she never seemed bothered by it one bit.) Which also means that hand in hand with the heartbreak of motherhood comes the most profound joys.
For posterity's sake, Tessa's first sentences captured here:
"Bless you, Daddy." (when Nekos coughed)
"I want some, too."
"I want to touch."
The aforementioned "Love you, mama," which occurred as I was gazing at her, smiling, while the sun came in and drowned her highchair in buttery morning light and she shoveled spoonfuls of yogurt in the general direction of her mouth. There were tears. My own.
"Love you, too."
"Goodbye, Daddy. Love you." (when Nekos left for work this morning)
And then there was this disjointed but spot-on account of how she came to have such a scuffed-up mug. "Eye." (points at her scabby, bruisy, puffy eye) "Tripped. Fell. Bed." (trots over to yank up the bed skirt and inspect the offending bed frame.) Yes, that's exactly right, little lady.
And so it begins.