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I Love Her

She's laying in bed next to me, this child of mine. Ten years old and light years from the chubby baby that we nicknamed Pudget. She lost that name so long ago, we can't quite remember exactly when she shed that round baby body and emerged so tall and lean and beautiful. We must have blinked at some point along the way. The genesis of the woman she is to become in a few short years, silently sleeping beside me.

Her hair is so thick, it lays like a dark honeyed curtain across her face, wisps of it lifting as she exhales out....laying down as she breathes in. Her skin is pale, creamy milk, soft as an angel's wings, spilling out from under her clothes.

Eschewing a nightgown for the simple chocolate colored shirt she wore to school today, she lays on her side facing away from me, dreaming her dreams.

I love her. My heart is filled to bursting with the joy of feeling her warmth beside me. I love her. She will see things that I never will, experience places I've not seen except in books and movies. Already she plays the piano with incredible prowess, a talent I've never mastered.Walking in from her school day it it is her first stop, fingers gliding over the keys and sending the strains of Christmas carols echoing through the house.

I cannot go where she will and she will never know where I have been, unless I tell her and even then the telling is no substitute for the living of it. Our lives have intersected in this short period of time and we will share what we can, leaving the rest to be what it will be.

Quick witted, she often delivers surprisingly funny observations she's made when you didn't even know she was paying attention to you. Oh how I love this child. Ten years old with an old soul capable of authoring stories that amaze the writer in me and warm my mother's heart. I read her words, carefully written with drawings on each page and know that she is gifted. Where I have walked, she will fly. I love her.

Ten years old, sleeping beside me with Mr. Bunbun, her stuffed bunny, pressed to her side. I know this is a fading remnant of the child within and will soon be replaced with other, more acceptably grown up accoutrements.

I love her. If it were possible to stop time and hold her for more than the fleeting moments we are given, I would. Oh, how I would.


  1. Oh man...that is beautiful. Pardon me I need to go and kiss my 10 year old daughter.

  2. You have a ten year old as well? Aren't they amazing creatures?

    Sometimes I am in awe that I had any part in her.

    Hubby was sleeping in another room last night as he had to wake early to go to work, so Allison slept with me. I spent time lifting the hair from her face and just watching her sleep...which is why I found myself pouring my heart out through the keyboard as she slept. I feel so blessed.

  3. Ha! I think I've already surpassed that part, Pam. And you're right, it was like a flash.

    What beautiful words and lovely emotions. The snapshot of a place and space in time, but so much more.

  4. WW, yes yours are a bit older than mine, aren't they? I know we both share a fifteen year old boy in common.

    My sixteen year old girl is another story entirely.... She wounds me quite often, without half trying, though I don't let her know. I fear my sweet eight and ten year old will be swallowed up in the teenage years and be lost to me for a time as they find themselves. ::sigh:: Ah well. There's nothing I can do but move forward.

  5. Great news that Kitty returned.
    Your entry of 10 year old daughter speaks to all of us who want to keep our children close forever. I can only speak from experience, but the kind of love, and attention that you give, almost certainly guarantees she will be your lifelong, best friend. There may be times she thinks you are evil...(another sign that you are a good mother)
    Be careful what you wish for... these little girls become grown women and call everyday and want to go shopping and they borrow all your party platters and glasses and tablecloths. They actually ask for your advice and cooking tips..etc.. it never ends ( It's wonderful) You sound like the kind of mom that will have all her kittens run home...

  6. Oh Kathleen, I can't wait (yes I can!) for that part of life. Right now I treasure every moment with my babies. I know it is fleeting.

    It sounds as though you did right by your babies as you have a great grown up relationship with them now. That must make you feel good. I knew you were good people! And that Waterboy of yours? I've been reading his blog and dang if I wasn't married I'd snatch him up. A great writer, literate, smart and loves to be out on the water. What more could you ask for?

  7. Just beautiful...
    My daughter is eleven. I really hope Kathleen is right, and I suspect she is, because if my mother lived right down the road, I would borrow her platters and beg her to go shopping and teach me to paint and sew zippers... I know she would, because one day, if my beautiful, talented daughter called and wanted me to go shopping and sew zippers, I can't think of anything I'd rather do. Oh, I am crazy about my four sons, but my daughter... well, you know, she's my daughter. Thank you for putting it into words.


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