We grabbed her from the playground on the way to the car. She was teary eyed when I looked back to see she was buckled up. I didn't think she would lose it after her brother's loss when he had already moved on. I knew she wasn't sad to be going to the hotel for swimming and pizza two of her all time faves. When I pried, she sobbed and told me she just didn't want to talk about it because it would make her even more upset. I pried harder and finally she spilled. Her heart hurt because she witnessed a little boy disrespecting his elderly grandma at the park. The grandma didn't feel well and needed to leave stat. The boy refused to listen. "It was just so so sad because I could tell that the grandma really really didn't feel good and he just wouldn't listen." And suddenly I'm worrying not just about this sick woman, but also how I can possibly protect my Miss Tender Heart when she suffers so even for absolute strangers.
Her strong sense of empathy and compassionate heart are both blessing and curse. She is a constant champion of the underdog. A tireless cheerleader for the downtrodden. The blessing is that she possesses a kindness that is beautifully contagious. The curse is that it is emotionally exhausting to walk through life carrying the burdens of others, and yet I cannot fathom her any other way.
I'm constantly marveled that she is mine. That she is nine. Nine and one of the wisest, deepest souls I know.