“People are mean,” my daughter says to me, her voice muffled against my blanket covered shoulder.

“Yes, some can be,” I say, rubbing her back as we lay together in my bed. It feels like old times, when she was little and I was her only world.

She makes a small sound so I continue talking, my voice low and soothing, the voice I save for her when she is hurting.

“Us sensitive people get hurt easily. You have to learn how to harden your heart, honey. It’s the only way that we can survive in this world.”

“I don’t know how,” she replies, looking at me with tears in her eyes.

“Trust me, if I can learn how, so can you.”

For a few more minutes, I hold my baby girl in my arms, wishing that I could fight her battles for her. I know that I can’t.

“I will always be here for you, as long as I am still breathing.”

“Okay,” she says.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Quarterflash – Harden My Heart 1981

Cryin’ on the corner, waitin’ in the rain
I swear I’ll never, ever wait again
You gave me your word, but words for you are lies

Darlin’, in my wildest dreams, I never thought I’d go
But it’s time to let you know

I’m gonna harden my heart
I’m gonna swallow my tears
I’m gonna turn and leave you here

All of my life, I’ve been waitin’ in the rain
I’ve been waitin’ for a feeling that never, ever came
It feels so close but always disappears

Darlin’, in your wildest dreams, you never had a clue
But it’s time you got the news

I’m gonna harden my heart
I’m gonna swallow my tears
I’m gonna turn and leave you here

Darlin’, in my wildest dreams, I never thought I’d go
But it’s time to let you know

I’m gonna harden my heart
I’m gonna swallow my tears
I’m gonna turn and leave you here

I’m a-gonna harden my heart
I’m gonna swallow my tears
I’m a-gonna harden my heart
I’m gonna swallow my tears
Harden my heart
I’m gonna swallow my tears
No, oh, oh, oh
Harden my heart
I’m gonna harden my heart
I’m gonna swallow my tears
I’m a-gonna harden my heart

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