I love to think about some of the things Kaitlyn and I used to say and do when she was growing up. To add to my blog more sweet memories I have of Kaitlyn, these two are embedded in my memory because these things we did just between the two of us. We had so many inside jokes and understandings that no one else would know.
One of the special memories I have of Kaitlyn (I’ve written about many) was when she was little and I would give her a bath in the tub. I guess when she was around two years old or so we used to play this game. I would get the washcloth and hold one end of it and move it around the long way in the water. I would say “Here comes the aaaaligator…..he’s going to get you.” And I would make out like it was vicious moving around in the water towards her and she would act like she was so scared (she was not). I would do that for a while getting closer and closer to her and it would get so ferocious and then all of a sudden it was at her!! The horror of it all!! But instead of biting her, it would start giving her kisses. We would laugh and giggle and would do it again the next night and many, many more nights to come. She actually mentioned this memory the last weekend I saw her before she died in April and we enjoyed the memory.
When Kaitlyn got a little older she finally said, “Momma, I can wash myself, by myself.” I thought she was too young to be able to do an adequate job but I said ok, that I would supervise her a couple of nights to make sure. Well, the girl could wash herself better than I could complete with washing her hair, so that was the end of our tub times. You only had to show Kaitlyn once and she knew it.
When she got older I liked to tell her “I love you so much more than you love me.” Just to see what she would say. When I would say that she looked at me with feigned horror and shock and drew in her breath as if I had said the unsayable. She’d say “Momma that’s not true, I love YOU more!” So then we agreed to compromise and never say one loved the other one more because we decided we loved each other just the same. It was never supposed to be said again. It was the rule. As she continued to grow I would sometimes say, “I love you so much M…..” and I would stop before I got to the “more” part, but always act like I was getting ready to finish that sentence and she would say “No, don’t you dare say it!!” And we would laugh and I never finished the “more” part.
As she got older, even in high school and then to college and even into medical school, I would still do this with her. I would always say “Now Kaitlyn, you’re old enough to admit to the truth now. You know I love you M……..” and she would always shake her head “NO! Don’t say it” I’d say, well you’re a grown woman now, it’s time you admit the truth. She would act horrified and say “NO!” You may not believe this, but we did this the last time she was home. This brilliant, wonderful, grown up woman, who was a medical student, allowed her mother to joke with her in this way until she died. And she loved it and I did too. Oh yes, most of the time we talked about the ways of the world, books, school, and spending good times together, but she allowed me to continue the inside jokes we always had, right up until she took her life.
I know we loved each other the same Kaitlyn and that was a tremendous amount of love. As I’ve always said since you died Kaitlyn, if love could have saved you, you would still be here. I love you…….the same.