maddie: where you going daddy?
me: where do i always go in the morning?
maddie: are you going to work?
maddie: i don’t want you to go to work.
me: i know. i don’t want to either. but i have to go to work so i can buy you clothes, toys and stuff.
maddie: but daddy. pause. i love you.
me: holding back tears, fumbling for a reply. i love you too, baby.
maddie: can you put my shoes on?
me: i usually have to restrain her to put her shoes on. of course.
she then gives me a big kiss and hug, and i go off to work.