I believe that I am the rich. How rich am I? My bank account is minimal, my house modest, my car thirteen years old. My clothes out of date and my furniture used. Sure, money in the bank would be nice. A nicer and bigger house would be wonderful. A newer and safer car would be desirable. A really nice family vacation, wow, that’s never happened. I have just enough in those areas to get by. Life is good, and I am rich because I am a single parent to a daughter adopted from China. I have little arms that wrap around my neck, and little hands that take my face in them to kiss my nose. I have original artwork on my refrigerator created by the hand of the child I love. I have chalk drawings on the patio; kool-aid filled cups on the tables, crayons rolling around under my feet and stuffed down in the couch. I am the recipient of sticky kisses and belly laughs at my jokes. I am told that I am loved dozens of times a day. I get to read stories snuggled with a little one under my arm in rapt attention. My living room is a fantastical magic kingdom filled with blanket forts and pillow mountains. I receive energetic hugs morning till night. I am serenaded with original operas and silly songs. I am prepared snacks of peanut butter, jam and tomatoes. I am told I am the most beautiful woman alive regardless of the fact that I am dressed in sweats and my hair is sticking up in every direction. I get to comfort and dry the tears when no other comfort than a mother’s will do. I am handed little pieces of paper adorned with hearts and “I love you”. My hands are bejeweled with rubber stamps and stars because I am judged to be “good”. I am often made breathless with laughter at the unique way my child has of describing her world or telling a story. My attention is drawn many times a day to the wonders in the world that I have sometimes overlooked due to busy schedules and the little problems of everyday life; how fascinating is an earth worm that temporarily becomes a pet, butterflies and lightening bugs become fairies, dirt an art medium, a flower the center of the universe. My house is never clean, there are always dishes in the sink and school papers flying around my ankles, shoes in the hallway, towels on the floor. Work piles up and waits until night fall, then most times waits a bit more. I rarely get a moment to myself, but I’ve had enough lonely moments before I became a mother to last a lifetime. I am rich. I am lucky. I am blessed beyond belief. And I am smart enough to know it.
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