There are moments as Ainsley's mom when I really wish I could bottle her sweetness and save it for those teenage years to come when she's, well, less than sweet.
Maybe it's because she's trying to lobby for more Christmas presents. Maybe she's just really in the Christmas spirit. Whatever the reason, her heart or her shoes, she was an absolute angel this morning. When her alarm went off, rather than making me practically drag her out of bed, she threw back the covers and ran into the bathroom before I knew what had happened. She finished her breakfast with 5 minutes to spare and made a big show of moving more like a hare and less like a tortoise.
This is not how mornings usually go in Casa Cranky.
"Who are you, and what have you done with Ainsley?"
"I have decided. I want to be helpful to you today. I want to be nice to you."
And the way she said it...for those of you have seen Up! (and if you haven't, why on earth not?), she said it the way Dug the dog says my favorite line from that whole movie: "I hid under the porch, because I love you."
And just like that line from the movie, Ainsley's words made me melt into a big puddle of "Awwww."
If that were not enough, when she got here at school she wrote the following message on the portable whiteboard I keep out in the research side of the library:
I will miss you at school today.
All day today, teachers who have come into the library have commented on the note.
"Ah, a note," said one staff member whose daughter is now in middle school. "You still get those. I miss those days."
I know that I will, too. I took a picture of this precious note on my cell phone (seeing more and more why they make phones with cameras) so that, when Ainsley is a nose-pierced, eye-rolling, pink-haired rebellious teenager who pretends I don't exist, I can be reminded of the joy she brought me one cold, December morning when all she wanted to do was be nice and make her Mommy happy.