I’ve been thinking lately about the first two lines of Ellen Bass’ poem “If You Knew.” The lines are, What if you knew you’d be the last/ to touch someone? I go about my day most days and don’t pay much attention to how I am touching Zane, Zoey, or Stephen. Some days I am so absent-minded I even forget if I’ve kissed my husband goodbye in the morning. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately at night during the stressful time of trying to get Zoey and Zane into bed–when they cry and won’t go to sleep, and I’m tired and just want to go to bed. I know I’m not being the best mother to them. I get grumpy and frustrated. And then I sit here and think what if I was the last to touch them? I want them to feel safe and loved. Do they feel that when I have so very little patience with them at night? I want to believe that the good times cancel out the bad, that the times I am patient with them cancel out the times I’m not, that they will feel my love despite my crankiness sometimes. I guess we’ll have to wait 20 years and ask them how much damage I did after all.