"I love you, Mama!" Buttercup's eyes lit up as she ran to me when I walked in the door.
Hug, hug, kiss, kiss.
Then..."You got me a surprise? Ok, I close my eyes."
The second part of that sentence was said without her waiting for an answer. Just chalk that up to the almost three years The Husband and I have spent riding high on our little girl's smile every time we bring her something home. Even a found penny is considered treasure in her eyes.
But tonight was special.
I just arrived home after five days away at The National Latino Writer's Conference and made sure to return baring a gift strong enough to erase the Mama-guilt I'd been sporting since booking the damned ticket six months ago.
And I found it. A sweet, hand-made little Mexican girl doll I found at the Hispanic Cultural Center's Gift Shop. I was so excited at the prospect of actually giving Buttercup a doll that represented a part of her culture that the slightly WTF price tag didn't stop me. And when I got home and gave her the doll, Buttercup squealed and then asked what to name her.
"Lola?" I said after thinking a moment.
"No, that's not him's name," she told me. She's been experimenting with pronouns lately and well, it hasn't been going very well.
"Her, m'ijita. Now, what about Mercedes?" It's our middle names. The Husband thought that one up and I was secretly hoping she'd pick that one.
"No," Buttercup said, her finger on her chin. Then her eyes got wide and her mouth broke into a huge smile. "I know, mama! Him's name Hannah!"
The Husband's eyes met mine over our daughter's head. He was trying not to laugh.
"Awesome. I bring home the most ethnic doll I can find and she names it Hannah." I put my palm to my forehead.
Buttercup smiled up at me. "Yep, I named him Hannah. And I love him, too."
End of conversation.