There are many people in my home.
Most of them love me.
One of them wants to love me but mourns her losses and dreams and schemes of going back.
One of them loves me more and more after every tantrum is spent and I controlled when she could not.
One of them does not wish to like it here and does not wish to love me. She intends to be a tenant.
One of them just goes with the flow and is enjoying his new life and family in a very unconnected way that says, "I will enjoy this while it lasts."
It is odd to have your heart walk around outside your body in forms that do not recognize your love for what it is. That can't help but neglect it and reject it and ignore it and long for it.
It is my joy to seize a moment to offer the comfort that my child didn't even know she needed: to hold her in my arms, stroke her hair, cry over her as her own tears fall, to see her consternation over my tears for her fade in the comfort of my arms. To know that in that moment, she understands that I love her. It fades, but it will be back again. It breaks my heart into a million pieces to have her share the tragedy that was suspected but unconfirmed until she tapped it out on my translate app.
It is frustrating to know that one of my children understands nearly every word I say but will not communicate with me in English and refuses to assist when her siblings are trying to talk to me.
It saddens me to see my son skittish around quick movements and to feel him flinch if an affectionate touch lingers to long.
It brings me joy to hear a new voice ring out, "Mama, Mama! Come here!" To hold this little girl as she squeezes me around the neck and showers me with kisses.
There are strangers in my home.
They do not love me.
They may never love me.
They do not have to.
I love them more than life itself.
It is enough.