Stop being ridiculous, I tell myself. Three kids is plenty, more than my share, really, when you consider our carbon footprint and the Earth’s carrying capacity and all those couples out there with infertility. My brain considers these things, but not my heart.
Even among her many mom powers, her technique for starting an orange awed me. After washing it (“you’ve got to wash it, you don’t know where it’s been”), she set her front teeth at an angle on the top of the orange, pulled back, and off peeled a thick, even flap of skin.
You know the truth: you can never be the hero, and not only because you let your son enter that den of pizza. Self-congratulation feels false, itchy, after all the time you’ve spent convinced that everything wrong with Zack is your fault.
Lisa Williams Kline
While Jeff and I stand there, I have the same recurring thought as always: that the leaves of the oak tree beside Dad’s grave will move in the breeze, indicating that Dad knows I am here and is greeting me.
I didn’t agree. It was worth it. I’d try harder. I could be whatever it was she needed me to be. I’d hang on. I wouldn’t give up. She was my daughter. I didn’t want to lose her. I’d already lost too much.
And then I asked myself the question my daughter must have pondered before telling me what Mitchell did—the question generations of women have asked themselves: Is it worth it?
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