My daughter has a magical way about her.

She can get people to do all sorts of things that I would NEVER in a million years be able to get people to do.

Like last week, when the three of us made an impromptu visit to my in-laws one late afternoon. Em asked her grandmother, Baba, to help her pick a few flowers from their garden. After picking a few colorful blooms, the two returned to where we were all sitting and relaxing on the deck, and Em generously gave each of us a flower to hold (proud mama moment).

But THEN Em had a second request. She wanted all of us to stick our flowers in our belly buttons.

Which we did. Of course.

Now, if I had been the one to ask my father-in-law to stick a daisy in his belly button? Surely he would have laughed in my face, doubted my sanity, and started questioning his son’s reasoning in choosing me as a wife (I am giving myself the benefit of the doubt, hoping that I haven’t previously given my father-in-law reason to question my husband’s taste in women).

But EMMY made the request. So there we all sat, with our shirts pulled up halfway and flowers sticking out of our belly buttons, as we continued having adult conversation about house mortgages and home repairs.

Emmy’s magic continued this past weekend, when we visited my extended side of the family down in Jersey.

On the first night, Em was able to get my mom and dad to pretend they were frogs, yelling “Ribbit Ribbit” as they hopped in a squatted position through their living room and dining room. She also got us all to march around the entire apartment in a parade-like fashion, singing songs and clapping.

On Saturday, Em somehow got her great grandparents (who are in their eighties and nineties, god bless them) to do splits and perform other gymnastic feats in their kitchen. To be honest, I was kind of worried that the afternoon was going to end badly, and that I would be writing a much less humorous post about how Emmy had caused her great grandmother to need emergency hip surgery.

On Saturday night, Em got my aunt and uncle to talk in funny voices as they animated one of Em’s little stuffed animals.

I love not only being around my daughter, but also being around other adults in the company of my daughter. Emmy doesn’t understand why it would be uncouth for us to sit around with flowers in our bellybuttons, or why it WOULDN’T be the most fun thing ever for my parents to pretend they are leaping frogs, or why her great-grandparents might not generally think about doing splits and spinning around and around on a slippery linoleum floor. But because there are no limits to how Em thinks we adults should behave, it frees us up to feel and act like children again. So we carry on like kids, our silliness filling us with laughter, as Em claps her hands in delight, shouting “Again! Again!”

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