I had a nice little exchange with Zoya today after school.
"Hey Zo, did you have a good day at school today?" I asked, as my middle daughter crawled up into my lap, a challenging task in and of itself when a kid is nine years old.
"Yeah, it was a good day."
"Did you think about your dear, old mom at all today while you were at school?" I cuffed her under her chin, teasingly.
Zoya sat for a moment, started to shake her head no and then her eyes lit up and she changed the direction of her head movement.
"Actually, yes, Mom, I did think about you today. My teacher read us another part of the book we are listening to every day and afterwards she was talking about the main character and how he perseveres through his trials in life. And then our teacher asked us if we knew anyone who has persevered in life... and I thought of you."
"You thought of me?"
Zoya's words surprised me. Sometimes I worry that I am too open with my girls. They know too much. They know when I am struggling with my depression, or worried about Polly or Evie, or preoccupied with writing and getting my memoir published.
"Well, because you persevere, Mom. You persevered through Polly's stroke and brain surgeries and with trying to help Evie learn to talk. You persevere when you are sad and try to feel better, and you are persevering with your writing. I thought of you, Mom, because you persevere."
I grabbed Zoya to my chest and squeezed her as tight as possible. Even though it was a rainy day outside, for a second I could feel the sun on my face.
Now, I don't know if I entirely believe her. One could always do better in the area of perseverance. But hearing those words from one of my kids: she sees my struggles but she also sees my attempts to get through them and make things better. What a gift.
This nice little exchange with Zoya will keep my love tank filled for miles.