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Love You Better

I don't believe in karma. I can't. I look around at my life... and feel that I did nothing to deserve it. Unless I believe that I was someone saintly and beyond reproach in a past life. But I don't believe in reincarnation either.


There are times when I look around at my kids playing and I am suddenly seized by panic so great that there are no words to describe it. It literally takes my breath away.

A panic that says, "You do not deserve all of this."

A panic that says, "You cannot possibly sustain all of this good luck you have. It will have to end."

And I look at my children as my heart squeezes tighter than I could imagine. And I think, "Oh please don't let something happen to one of them. I could not live without one of them."

* * *

My 6- and 8-year-olds love to write me notes. They are heartwarming and hilarious at the same time. But they don't know how to spell yet.

So they will call out to me from the other room, "How do you spell Dear?"
"How do you spell beautiful?"
"How do you spell want? How about candy?"
"How do you spell right now?"

And then I have to read their notes and feign surprise at the message. "Oh, I am beautiful and you want some candy?"

* * *

At night I will snuggle in bed with my only daughter for a few minutes.

She will be talking to me, with her little face smiling and turned up to me. I'll brush the hair behind her ears, half listening to what she is saying because I am just captivated by her presence, in awe of her beauty, and all I can think is that I don't deserve this love and adoration from her.

I'll hug her close and rub her cheek with my cheek, and she'll get annoyed. She'll push me away. "Are you listening to me?" she will demand to know.

We have a little ritual, she and I. As I walk out of her bedroom for the night, I'll pause at the door and say to her, "I love you."

She replies, "I love you better."

But I know the truth. She couldn't possibly.


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