My eyes scanned the scene. At least 15 of them splayed across the bed, and I sat among them in total dismay.What was I to do?
I grabbed Poochy and squeezed her tight, pressing my face into her now dingy, gray fur. All of them gazed back at me with their sweet, frozen faces. And my tiny heart broke. Burst open right inside of me and gushed out through my eyes in the form of hot, fat tears.
You see, I loved them all so much. Too much. How could I give ALL of them my love?
True, some of them were favorites, while others I cared less for - but that wasn’t their fault - all of them needed me. They needed my hugs and my affection. But I’d been stretched too thin, I wasn’t enough for all of them. And the pillows too! (“For god’s sake, the pillows Kaley?!”) They needed to be hugged, squeezed and allowed equal opportunity to adorn the bed.
My six year old body throbbed with the immensity of what my heart couldn’t contain. My limbs ached with longing for them all - Poochy, Bicky Bear, Kiwi, Tom-Tom - even those perfect blue squares, Pillow 1 and Pillow 2. The weight of it all pressed upon me until I was crushed. I had no words to describe the inadequacy I felt.
I sobbed inconsolably that night.
And so it was to be Kaley at 6 years old.
However, I was revisited by these emotions just last week. The indescribable sorrow of loving deeply, but without a clarity upon which my place my affections. This time the feeling came first, the object of my dismay hidden.
Later on in class, I gaze at my students and a bright spark crinkles my eyes. Little people. Doing the best they can. I cannot even help but to admonish them with a smile concealed by behind pinched lips.