After a few minutes, Ella mused "I wonder what I was born for, Mummy".
I put my book down and met her intense gaze. "I don't know, love. What do you think you were born for?"
I watched her purse her lips and frown a little as she searched for a reply. "Well, Mummy I think that it is up to you".
Amazed at this profundity I exclaimed, "Oh, sweetie that's so clever of you! Yes, I think it is completely up to you to choose what you are born for.
"No, Mummy. I mean I think it's up to you to decide what I was born for".
"I don't think so, sweetie. I think it's up to you. I really wouldn't want that responsibility. But thanks anyway."
This morning, I watched Ella have breakfast and felt one of those random feelings of parental joy that grip you sweetly when you least expect them.
She's such a sweet, kind girl. I feel so lucky to be her mother sometimes. Lots of times. Not during whining or moaning times though.
I felt compelled to tell Ella why I love her - I mean why apart from the biological imperative to do so. It's too easy to keep wrapping it all up in a nondescript "I love you". So I told her.
"Did you know, Els, that I think you are clever and kind. You're pretty, you're cute and I feel really lucky to be your mummy." She looked up briefly, smiled and went back to eating her raisin bagel.
"You're so loving and you're so easy to love" I added.
Ella dropped her bagel and locked eyes with me. Hers were as wide as her smile. "Mummy!" she exclaimed in a 'Eureka!' tone, "that's what I was born for".
Do you know, I think that's what I was born for too. Giving love and getting it has always been my main drive. For me, being loving and being loved are the greatest pleasures in life.
I always wondered what my life purpose is.