Our dog Gloria was our last family dog. She was a mutt from the pound in Lima, Peru. She was the first smart dog we ever had. And she was totally bilingual.
So she could do things that our other dogs couldn't. Like sit and give you her paw. I realize these aren't stellar examples of her intelligence, but for us it was pretty cool.
And one of the best things was that she could do them in Spanish.
You'd say, "Want a cookie? Una galletita?"
She'd cock her head.
"Sientate, por favor."
She'd sit down. You'd squat down and put out your hand.
"Dame la mano."
And out would come her paw.
"Gracias!" And you'd give her the cookie. And pick her up and hug her and kiss her and tell her how much you loved her.
She was a dog, but she was family. For dog lovers, you know what I'm talking about. There are times that you like your dog more than you like some of your friends and family.
And so, not to compare myself to my dog, but, well, sort of. . .
I realized the other day that I love these kinds of little rituals. And they're really not so different from the "want a cookie?" back and forth.
Sometimes, when Nick tells me he loves me, I'll say, "You do?"
To which he'll nod. And then say, "Do you know how much I love you?"
I'll shake my head. "Noooo."
So then I look up at him, and as earnestly as possible I say, "No."
These things are always said with the same inflection, the same feigned lack of knowledge, the same feigned surprise.
So he will go on to list the newest reasons. Or the original reasons. Or any reasons. It feels like sunshine.
I love this back and forth. And he knows for a flat out fact that I will never, ever pass up the opportunity to hear how much I'm loved. Or why.