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Birthday Cake

I sat alone at the kitchen table. My daughter on a stool at the counter with her breakfast.

I started to sob. again. A continuation from most of the night.

She noticed and was still, watching me- locked in and timid. There was no reversing my quiet outpouring. I surrendered, hoping to just flush out the sadness that’s been evident over the last few months. Maybe years.

She crept into my view on all fours and slowly walked her hands up my leg, her eyes were teary and big.

“I’m okay, honey. Thank you. Thank you, I’m okay.” I whispered. I needed her embrace and she knew.

Then her with little, big heart she looked up to me, and with all she had to give she said, “I’ll share with you my birthday cake, Momma. And you can open one of my presents.” She will be five soon.

“Thank you hunny, but I want you to open your presents.” She bear hugged my lap, probably relieved I wasn’t going to take her up on her offer. I was grateful to feel her little warm body under my hand as I rubbed her back. My body knew to reassure her in the way it knows how to. My body knew how to remind her that her mommy is still in here somewhere, in the form she’s used to… not like this messy, hopeless one, slumped before her.

I was grateful she didn’t ask me any questions.

She looked up again, “Me, daddy and Jules will always love you and we’re going to take care of you.”

And with that, she saved me just enough so I could get in the shower.

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