Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

The Hardest Thing

The other day Owlet fell asleep in my arms while nursing. I held her until my arms grew numb, then gently woke her to preserve sacred bedtime.

“What is the hardest thing?” asked Owlet, drowsy and rosy-cheeked from the unexpected nap.

“Huh?” I asked, as sleep-blurry toddler speech can sometimes sound like one thing and mean another. “Did you say, ‘what is the hardest thing?'”

“Yes.” And she waited expectantly.

Death. Losing a child. Losing a parent, or a spouse. Violence. War. Illness and poverty. I am big on no-bullshit, age-appropriate honesty with kids, but it took a stumbling heartbeat for me to flip from mourner to mother.

I knelt, centering myself in her rich hazel eyes. “Not being with someone you love. That’s the hardest thing.”

And it really pretty much is.

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3 thoughts on “The Hardest Thing

  1. Yes, yes it is. As always, so well said, my friend.

  2. falckoner on said:

    Wow, I hope I’m as quick on my feet when I’m faced with a question like that!

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