I often feel, when Dottie's been crying a long time and I can't fix it, like crying too. I feel the tears welling up, all hot and heavy, like a weight on my eyes. But they never spill over. As if there's this greater part of me that knows I have to be strong, for her. I've got to keep it together, at all times, even if just a little bit, for her, to make sure she's safe. 

And then she'll calm down and drift to sleep and I don't want to cry anymore. Or she'll calm down and smile at the sight of the ceiling fan (or the sight of me - gush) and I won't want to cry anymore then either. 

Some days are hard. But her sweet smile, squishy cheeks, make it worth it. 


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