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only fourteen

Today was a busy day. A day I concluded at 3:30 with a meeting...and then came home 2 hours later to wrap up in a blanket and close my eyes.

It's tough sometimes to enforce a sense of normalcy on a day that was decidedly not normal. But we made it. My class is darling. So patient, so calm.

Five minutes of couch shut-eye and I was back up. Mags was not cheerful, patient or calm, but I managed to stop in the hall and say, "I didn't get a hug."

Oh the hugs. We miss each other when she's gone on her pop's days. The hugs, they are such wound up love. And how they've grown!

What were once wiry spring-loaded arms around my waist are now willowy arms around my shoulders. But the love is the same. The missing is the same. The relief is the same.

But even after that--her mood was the same. I grabbed one piece of pizza. Out the door to take her to PSR...where we got in a little snip fight. She was very hot and cold tonight.

I picked her up after class. We came home, I reclaimed the couch and maybe I just finally noticed her. But I said to her all at once:

"You look awful!"
She said, "Thank you."
I said, "Your eyes are heavy and sunken."
"Thanks, Mom." She said.
And I said, "Like a vampire..."
She said, "I'm going upstairs."

A half hour ago I stepped in her room. Lights out. Snuggled in bed. Watching a show on Netflix.

I said, "Time to go to bed."
She said, "I WILL!"...still an absolute bear. I just could not get her right tonight.
I said, "How much longer on that show?"
She said, "More than you want to hear."
I said, "Off."

And before I got from her bed to the door I heard the phone hit the floor. A muffled "g'night" barely from under the covers.

"I love you," I said, but she was out.

Sometimes you have to let them be 14. But sometimes you have to make them be only 14.

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