A few minutes ago, I heard Elli crying down in her room. I was tempted to ignore her, but something prompted me to go and check on her and asked her what she wanted. Elli is often able to answer a question like that with one word answers, such as "treat" or "drink." Tonight she answered, "music." I told her that I would turn her music on and I gave her a hug and told her goodnight. As I knelt down to turn her CD player on, I heard the most beautiful words come out of her mouth. It was said clearly and deliberately.
I have never in the six years that she has been my daughter heard those words come out of her mouth without being prompted. It was such a special, tender moment. Miraculous even. I serve her and help her because she is MINE and I am her mother and I love her with all my heart-- I haven't needed her to say thank you. But tonight she did and it felt so good to realize that she IS grateful, even if she usually does not or cannot express it. I don't know if I'll hear those words again, so I hope to always remember how sweet it felt tonight.
I love you, Elli. Thank YOU for being my daughter.