She gasps for air between the words of her prayer. There is water where her tongue should be and everyone gets a cup full of words. She wraps a blanket around me in sweet forgiveness and says she would like to be like me someday. Someday. When she’s not guarded by rules and bedtimes. When life stops serving her lunch and naps. When walking the dog isn’t her only chore. When love and her smile opens doors. The only place for her right now is this: A prayer on the bedroom floor. A knot of fingers we have sealed tight. I have taught her she can be forgiven. I have practiced vulnerabilities in front of her. I have shown her grace is for everyone, kindness is the crack of a smile, and the offering of the little you have.

Her head under my arms tonight is so warm. I never knew a feeling so strong. I wrapped her in and forgave every mal behavior of the past three months. She slowly whimpered about my leaving and how life was so unfair.Oh, but it is. I wanted to squeeze her and warn her that the world is going to often be cruel, but it’s beautiful. It’s so beautiful. I want to tell her that her art will change lives and her intuition and wit will take her far. Her vulnerabilities, although they might become frustrating, make her so unique.I want to tell her she should fight for love because she deserves it. Because it’s what she knows how to give so naturally. For now, I hold her close. Knowing that ignorance is bliss and her 7 years of life are just the beginning of our friendship.


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