"Do you know every time you breathe Mom and Dad love you more?" I stop half way down the stairs and listen to the conversation unfold at the breakfast table between Stephanie and Jordan.
"It's true," she insists. "Every time you breathe they love you more." I hear her suck in a deep breath. "See? They love me more. You try it."
"Try what?" I can't even see his face and I know disbelief is written all over it.
She sucks air in through her nose. It's so loud it has to hurt. "You do it."
I hear a little sniff.
"Tol' me what?"
She breathes in again. "They love us more."
There is a pause. I hear the spoons cling against the cereal bowls. "I'm not sure. I think you have to be a mom or dad to understand it. I just know it works."
"We just gotta breathe?"
She breathes again and then coughs from the milk that probably went through her nostrils from breathing in as much as she possibly could.
I hear another sniff.
"They love us more."
"Huh. I didn't know people love yas jus' cause you breathe."
"Yeah, it's pretty great."
I finish walking down the stairs and smile when I see them at the breakfast table. Stephanie takes a deep breath. Jordan sniffs a little. I say, "I keep loving you guys more and more."
Their giggles make my heart grow. I hate to tell her, but I don't think it's something you ever understand -- even when you're a mom.