My daughter looked different today. And I don’t think it was the superhero cape. Or the swim goggles. Or even the sunburn.
It was something in her face; she was older. And it happened overnight.
Soon there will be things I cannot keep from her. Already, she’s asking if the tooth fairy is real, without having lost her first tooth. Some weeks ago, I watched as she tried to read the quick-moving ticker beneath the woman with the microphone who couldn’t keep from talking about a movie theater in Colorado.
I know that in the months or weeks to come, I will have to tell her that people die, too. Not just hermit crabs. People we love. Sometimes, without any warning, without any explanation. And I know what will happen to her too-loving heart, because I’ve seen her eyes fill up when she so much as thinks of sad things.
But hope is reserved for those with soft hearts; it patches the holes and stitches the tears. It’s the gift we receive for surviving the heartache. For letting ourselves be vulnerable enough to love. To believe.
Hope gives us strength without hardening our hearts.
It’s what I want to see when I look into her face.
It is a relay, after all, and even though the “Closing Ceremonies” will be held around August 10th, I’d like to invite Olivia O’Bryon, A Lateral Plunge: Where Life Goes From Here, and Sarky Tartlet to write a piece about hope. (Don’t feel obligated, of course, especially given the time constraints. This was a bit of a challenge for me, but I’m really glad I did it. Just thought I’d extend the invitation, in case you’re interested.)