Like Living

“I like living. I have
sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but
through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand
thing.” —Agatha Christie
(1890-1976); writer

“I love you one hundred and sixty one,” Madelynn told me this
morning on the way to Grandma’s house.

I’m not sure exactly how much that is but I know whenever
Madelynn uses the word one hundred to quantitate anything, it’s a lot. And a number higher than one hundred must be a very good sign.

I’m one hundred and sixty one percent sure that Madelynn
likes living. She is good at it. She has a talent for smiling, a knack for giving
hugs, a personality that makes me envious. There are days I look at her and
think, are you really mine?

She has her preferences, though. Like at breakfast when she was eating one of my homemade banana-chocolate-chip muffins, she picked at it and then
handed it back to me.

“I thought you wanted that,” I said.

“I just wanted the chocolate chips,” she replied.

Who can blame her? Chocolate does seem to make life likable.

I’m thinking today about liking
to live
. Not just living because that’s what we do. We go to work. We take
care of kids. We make supper. We diet. We eat too much. We diet again. We get
upset. We make up. We stress. We try harder. We spend time on hobbies. We have
little time for hobbies. We love the best we can. We live.

Is life more than a mirage? Can we say we like it?

One hundred and sixty one pieces of me says life was made to
be liked.

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