It seems simple enough at first: I choose to love you because I have love to give and you need love. Then comes the happily every after.
But then you dig a little deeper and you come to see how deeply the cut is. It's not that its a gushing, gaping wound. It's that it is a small incision, one that tears slowly as your kids develop more self awareness, one that reopens because of the words of others, one that festers a bit because of a new experience that caused deep thinking.
It's a cycle; a wound that scabs and heals and hurts and bleeds. You, as the parent, are left watching, never quite sure if the tears you see today are just tears or if they are anger or deep sadness, loneliness or guilt, somehow connected to this silent hurt.
And so the anger and worry comes out.
It comes out in weird and awkward statements. "I love her more than I love you." while you know better than to take it personally and calmly answer,"You know it's not a contest, you don't have to love one of us more."
It comes out in words that prick a little at your heart. A random "You don't love me!" and your heart twinges and wants to shout back "Oh, yes I do!"
It pours out in anxious tears, in worry filled comments like "What happens if you can't take care of me anymore?" as you count your blessings that you've actually thought this through and can easily tell your child "Well, I hope that never happens but if it did, we've already made a plan."
So my heart hurts. Because it's a lot for any six year old. Because it's a lot for any mom.