Hila Fay LOVES for me to tell the story of how Chuck proposed to me. It goes like this:
A long time ago, before Mommy was a mommy, Hila Fay was Hila Fay, and even before Mommy was Daddy’s wife, she was just a girlfriend. One day your daddy took me hunting. While we sat out in the cold winter evening, so cold that our breath formed clouds and floated away, I saw a deer coming right towards us! I hadn’t gone hunting many times yet, so instead of sitting still I got excited and hit your daddy to get his attention. My movement scared the doe and she ran away. I was very sad.
Since dark was almost there, and we wouldn’t be able to see any more deer, we decided to pack up our things and go back to our homes. As we walked out of the deer woods (at this point in the story HF is covering her mouth in delight and trying not to squeal) Daddy looked at me and said, “I have something that will cheer you up.” I looked at him like he had lost his mind and simply replied, “I seriously doubt it.” His eyes sparkled in amusement as he asked me, “Will you marry me?” I was so shocked that the only thing I could think to say was, “That worked.”
At LEAST every other day HF begs me to repeat the story, always giggling in delight when her daddy says he can cheer me up and then jumping up and down, clapping, and shouting, “YAY” when I reply that it worked. I knew that she liked the story, but I didn’t realize how much she actually listened to it until last week when I had come down with strep throat. I was laying in my bed, feeling miserable, when all of the sudden she came into my bedroom and kneeled down on Chuck’s side. She looked at me and said, “Momma? I got something that will cheer you up.” “Really, baby? What?” “Will you marry me?” I could barely contain my laughter as I replied, “That worked.”
Her moment oozed with love and the child-like faith that anything can be cured with love laughter and it is a memory that I will treasure forever. It reminded me, though, to be careful what I say (what stories I tell and what things I laugh at around her) because she is watching and waiting for the moment to mimic those that she loves best.