These are humbling times. And when you least expect it, from the people you least expect it from, sometimes- such gifts are given, that you sit stunned at your computer for what seems like decades, trying to find the perfect response. What would, ‘thank you,’ say? It doesn’t convey everything you need it to, nor does it convey the utter surprise, confusement, delight and ache you feel to really express everything you try to hide as your hands tremble under your desk, and bewilderment resides on your face.

Sometimes, I want the chance to say no- because every time he does something like this, I never know what to say, and sometimes just saying, “that’s not necessary,” or, “you should do something else,” would make me feel more at ease. I know him- I know he doesn’t do it to make me feel complicated, or insecure. It’s not about me at all, it’s about Ava- and her future… the one her mother is so carefully providing.

Sometimes in life- we are given things that we have no idea what to do with- lasting gifts for little girls with beautiful red hair, and the brightest smile. She captivates, and I tear up.