Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Making Ends Meet (01/16/14)
TITLE: How Much Do You Love Me?
By Barbara Mahler
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Not being able to stay at home with Emily as I did with my older children was an experience I struggled with. My children were always my priority, and I decided that Emily would be as well. I chose to work in proximity to wherever we lived. When she had to miss a school day, I stayed home with her even if it meant that I would not be paid. The emotional and financial chaos of divorce drew us close.
Emily was barely six when she asked for the first time, “Mommy, how much do you love me?” She often asked the same question opening her little arms more and more each time until she had stretched as much as she could while continuing to probe, “…this much?”
Even though I always responded to her “…this much?” inquiry with my own over-extended arms gesture, she seemed to delight, nonetheless, in asking the same question again and again.
Emily was a continual source of pride as she advanced from grade to grade attaining excellent marks in all her subjects. I was a blessed parent who never had to cajole when it was time to do homework.
When she was about ten, she won me over in what had been an ongoing discussion.
“I’m old enough to walk home from school; I don’t need after-school care anymore. Besides it would save you money, Mom,” she argued – finally successful.
To her delight I also agreed to reward her good behavior with the pet she had begged for- almost from the time she could say the word “dog.”
The years have flown by all too quickly. My baby will soon have her own baby. Will the ends meet? When her child asks “Mommy, how much do you love me?” I pray that her reply will be the same as mine ultimately was: “I love you as high as the sky and as deep as the ocean.”
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