Thursday, April 15, 2010

She's lying asleep on our bed, the only place where she still looks small. I gaze at her face and think about how much she looks like she did when she was a baby. Same rosebud lips. Same birthmark on her right cheek that I love to kiss, that she is starting to hate, like I knew she one day would.

Her dangly star earrings hang from her earlobes. Her toes are poke out of her too small footie pyjamas. She wants so much to be a big girl, and she wants so much to hold on to her babyhood.

She's five.

I rub her back and stroke her hair off her face, the light brown hair that will be perfectly highlighted in just a couple of months. I used to have hair that color. She rolls and her face is now toward me. I count the freckles on the bridge of her nose. Oh, dear God, she is so beautiful.

She's five.

It's been a tumultuous five years, for the two of us. She wasn't the easiest child. I wasn't the easiest mother. So many tears between us. But oh, how I delight in her.

We've grown together, emotionally and spiritually, my daughter and I. And now there is a bond between us that is soulful and fierce.

I gather her into my arms and carry her, even though I know it will hurt my back to do so. Her body melds into mine like it did when she was in the secret place. We ascend the stairs together.

She's five.

And oh, how I love her.

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