Tonight, nestled in bed together, Zeca and I talked about life. We do this most nights. She tells me about what she wants, what she likes, what she thinks about the people in her life. Most times, we laugh but, sometimes, the conversations are serious. Tonight was one of those nights. She told me that she didn't want grow up and be 48. She talked about what her life might be like when she is older, how many kids she might have and where she might live and, then, she paused. I waited, thinking that she was going to finish her thought but, instead, she burst into tears. She was hysterical and trying to tell me something but I couldn't understand her. Finally, she was able to say "Mama, I don't ever want to move away from you. I want to live with you forever." I brushed her hair from her eyes, wiped her tears away and told her that she could live with us forever, that we would always be here for her. She wrapped her arms around my neck and choked out, "o.k." I kissed her goodnight, tucked her in and walked away with tears in my eyes because, more than anything, I want her to always believe that. Then, I went into Miguel's room to cuddle and found myself explaining the electoral college and the precise process by which a president is elected.
That's how it is in this house...you have to be ready for anything.