It has been at least a year since Zoe and I were driving in the car and our silence was broken by Zoe saying, “Raise your hand if you think I am a great big ball of love.”
I raised my hand.
Over a week ago I celebrated my 37th birthday (yahoo!). I went to bed that night having been surrounded by love all day. A latte in bed in the morning, breakfast made by a dear friend, lunch made by another, truffles delivered by yet another, my parents taking us out in the boat and coming over that night with a card and a frozen pie (a long story on that family joke) and so many other cards, gifts, etc. etc.. I was overcome.
As I waited for sleep, what ran through my head was the line from the hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth.” It was: “for the love that from our birth over and around us lies…Lord of all, to thee we raise this our joyful hymn of praise.”
I felt as though on my birthday 37 years before, my parents had packed me tight full of love, like a well-packed Michigan snowball and had slowly built that ball until it was big enough to roll on its own. And ever since it has been rolling it has gathered impossibly more and more as it has rolled until now it is/I am “a great big ball of love.”
I can only hope that Mark and I pack Zoe good and tight full of love before sending her on her way. And I hope she’ll always raise her hand when asked to confirm that she is, indeed, a great big ball of love.