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My daughter and I entered the same public restroom.

Only I wasn’t carrying a water bottle.

When I met her at the sink, her face had fallen, and the water bottle she had in her hand didn’t look so great.  “It, uh, fell in the toilet,” she said.

She held out the dripping bottle for me with her bare hand.  And I asked real slow what I already knew.  “Where did you set the bottle?”

“On the back of the toilet,” she sniffed.

I pointed to the trash can beside the sink. “It goes in there,” I said.

But she gasped, “No, mom!  It’s mine.  We can just wash it off.”

My insides recoiled.  And I pointed again to the trash.  “No, honey…we can’t.”

As I led my daughter out of the restroom, she followed with puffy eyes.

And I remembered… how much it hurts to lose anything, when we’re not ready to let go.  Even a cheap, plastic water bottle baptized in a Tacoma toilet.


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