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  • My youngest daughter woke up early this morning. I was sitting on the couch in my pj's when she came into the living room and cuddled up beside me. One of our dogs, a boxer/pit bull mix, took this as an opportunity to get away with breaking a house rule. He thinks that when my daughter is around she will act as his intercessor and the rules will slide. Rules like no getting on the furniture.
    "Caroline!" I said, "Get Choo-choo off the couch." I then felt it necessary for her to understand that I wasn't being a cranky, coffee-less witch in the morning, I was just being firm. "He's dirty from being outside this morning and I don't want him to stain the couch," I said as I looked into my mommy crystal ball.
    After shooing the dog away, a new, wet, brown stain emerged where once the dog sat.
    Two beautiful eyes looked up at me and said "It's not just any stain Mom." She traced the muddy paw print on the green couch with her finger. "It's a love stain."
    I had to smile at this. She loves this dog so much and I love her so much so I just had to smile at her.
    "What's a love stain?" I said. At this point, I needed to understand this new concept for us that didn't exist two seconds ago and was customized for her desire to cuddle with the dog on the furniture and negate all house rules, thereby eeeeking her way out of some trouble.
    I could tell she was thinking hard on the spot. And I waited for the answer of the century.
    "A love stain is a stain that someone you love leaves when they've left... see I can think of Choo-choo when I look at the paw print on the couch even though he's not right here beside me," she said.
    This morning, I have two things I didn't have yesterday thanks to my daughter. A paw print stain on my couch and a new perspective on all the love stains on our hearts.
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