On Shabbos the eruv in our city was down, and since my sister (thanks Rivkee!) was staying with me for the weekend I was able to leave Hudi at home with her and walk to Shul with Freida. As we were leaving she was a little perturbed as to why Hudi had to stay behind, but after asking a few questions about why her and Rivkee weren't coming along, she seemed satisfied that all was alright. We were walking about half a block when she stopped and said "Mommy I want to tell you something important. I really, really love doing something alone with you like this!", and flashed me the brightest, more hopeful smile ever.
Naturally, I melted. And suddenly realized just how seldom she and I get time alone together. And I mean alone (as in not with a napping baby that will wake any minute and a sink full of dishes calling my name). She completely opened my eyes as to how important this is for our relationship. The same way I make it a priority to spend time with my husband alone, I need to find the time to spend with my daughter alone. So! Today I am coming up with a little list of teeny-tiny one-on-one activities we can share together throughout the week (an evening tricycle ride around the block after dinner, a Sunday morning cartoon screening before dad and baby wake etc.), and I'm so looking forward to seeing how these small one-on-one snippets of time with her will enhance the development of the very complex mother/daughter relationship we share.
I smiled right back at her, squeezed her still-pudgy hand a little tighter than usual, and made a promise to share many more times like this with her - together, and alone.