9:21p. Almost two hours ago she was supposed to be in bed. She is standing in the kitchen in her jammies, cutting out a paper fan; she wants to bring it in for show-and-tell tomorrow. Her mother's brow is furrowed, correcting misuse of verb tenses in a paper that needs an extreme makeover.
"Time to go brush your teeth, again, Baby Girl."
"Mama, I just--
"Come on, girl. Brush. Teeth."
"Mama, but I--"
"I just have to tell ya something. I wanted to say that...that I think love is the only thing that can mend a hole in your heart."
The mother's grading pen was dropped and arms were outstretched.
Hugs were given.
Teeth were brushed.
Beds were found.
Papers were still graded.
And the thoughts of a nighttime mini-priestess of philosophy were not unspoken.