My dearest one, you were once so small that you held onto my shoulder as you put on your shoes. We hid under the bed covers reading night-time tales, and you nestled into the pillows and listened to the lullabies I loved to sing until you drifted away.
You were so small, but brighter than every star. In the summertime we danced in arcs of water, little feet squashing through the grass, the sprinkler turning, turning, turning. We ran around and I held your hand, because I knew that one day we’d be too far for you to reach.
Robins nested outside your window. We watched for them in the springtime and waved goodbye when they flew away. The years passed like that. I learned that I would give my life away if it meant you could look out the window and see the newborn wings every spring. I learned to cherish the sound of your breathing, the unsteady heave of fragile lungs. There was a time we thought you’d leave us, a newly-hatched babe gone somewhere in the sky. I never thanked you for holding on so tightly.
Now you are so tall, and you put your arm around my shoulder. I learned that it is alright to lean on you, just a little. Because in all your young wisdom, you know how to shine into shadows and speak in lovetones. Who taught you all this, dear heart? You are so grown.