They say a picture says more than a thousand words. But sometimes no camera can capture the magic of a moment and it can only be framed in one's mind. This was one of those moments.
Since yesterday Ella had been asking me what "I love you" is in French. I told her about 50 times, she repeated "Je 't aime" about 100 times. She told me excitedly that she was going to tell Max, her best friend at daycare. He goes to French classes. She'd forgotten by the time he arrived yesterday morning, so this morning we practiced again. She finally found him in "the forest" this morning when I walked her in. I had to whisper "Je 't aime" in her ear a few more times. And then she ran off to where Max was playing.
Now the idea of her wanting to say "je 't aime" to Max was cute enough. But the picture that followed - which was not the romantic moment that we had expected - moved me even more for some reason.
As she ran towards Max, Ella was met by a group of 4 or 5 little boys doing what little boys do well. They greeted her with "stinky poo", they were banging the garage door with a stick horse and their fists, they were yelling, they were running wild and they acted like boisterous German Sheppard puppies.
And there she stood, as elegant as any being could be. Tall and slender, in her flowery dress to halfway down her calves, her delicate little feet in her pink sandals, her feminine purple hat that wouldn't completely look out of place at the Melbourne cup, her golden hair framing her pretty face. Whenever the boys came too close to her or reared one of their toys above her head, she'd raise a dainty hand in a graceful stop motion and turned her head away from the potential threat. But she did not back away. She held her ground with confidence. In this picture she seemed the embodiement of all that's different about boys and girls. My little Venus.
I don't think she ever did get a chance to say her "je 't aime" though.