always and forever

She wanted to go shopping.
For clothes.
A change from using her money to buy crafts and games.
A change at the beginning of many changes.
A change from little girl to young woman.
And I’m ready for it, really.
And yet not.

As we are homeward bound, one song ends, and another quietly begins.
From the driver’s seat, I see her watching me,
Really studying me.
And I hold my breath so as not to break the moment.
Don’t look.Don’t look.Don’t look.

“Thanks for taking me, Mommy,” she whispers.
And I take the chance to look at her eyes and I see myself,
My melancholic, nostalgic, sentimental self.
And I can tell that she’s drinking it all in –
Just as I have done with her a million times.
Mental pictures filed away,
Ready to be pulled out on a rainy day.

We needed this,
She and I.
Laughing together
Without distraction.
Talking about school and friends
And thoughts and dreams.
So many things that get lost in the shuffle.
(There’s always shuffling with a family of six).

And then our song begins to play.
{Go listen to it.
No, really. Go}

And though I may will let her down sometimes,
I hope she always knows that I have her back.
That I’m always here,
Waiting and ready,
When she needs someone to believe in,
And is reaching for a hand to guide her home.

Always and forever, my sweet girl.
Always and forever.


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