The Writing On the Wall

A four letter word is written on the wall next to the bathroom mirror - the mirror in my bathroom. 

Upon seeing the four letters, I was instantly annoyed ... and then, curious. Approaching the three-year-old graffiti artist with a neutral tone of voice, I inquired as to whether or not she had decorated the bathroom wall with that four-letter-word. A smile swept over her face, reaching her eyes. 

She joyfully admitted to her crime, "Isn't it WONDERFUL?" 

"Is it wonderful that you broke two rules - not to write on anything but paper and not to climb up onto the bathroom counter?" 

"No, that's not wonderful. I probably should NOT have done that. But..."


"I love you SO MUCH I wanted to write your name there - M A M A - so I can see it even when I can't see you. And if I put my face just right, it's like you're right next to me."

My heart melted, my agitation with it.

We could have gotten into a conversation about breaking rules and the consequences of our actions. I could have made her scrub the wall. Instead, I decided to focus on love. I thanked her for loving me so much. We talked about love and ways to express love and how much we love each other. 

Before she scampered off to play, I asked if she knew where she was supposed to write. 

"Only on paper, silly!" 

"If you knew that, why did you write on the wall?"

"Ask my heart!"

In that moment, she reminded me of the joy that results when love encourages irrational actions. Sometimes, although we think we see the writing on the wall, we need to look between the lines, for that's where love lives. 

A year later, when I look in the mirror, my eyes are drawn to four faint letters written in three-year-old script. You know what? Even though I can't see Alia's face at that moment, I can see her heart. 


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