I tucked Saoirse into bed last night.

“Mommy, I love you,” she said, smiling.  Then she grabbed my hand.

“When I’m with you…”  She paused.  Took a deep breath.  Looked around the room, as if the cars on her nightstand or the little plastic snow globes on her dresser could finish her sentence.  She squeezed my hand with both of hers then, earnest.

“When I’m with you…” she paused again, thinking, “you’ll be with me.”

Satisfied, she smiled, raised her eyebrows at me, then released my hand and settled back onto the pillow.  I was now cleared to say good night.

When I’m with you, you’ll be with me, she said.  Was that a request?  An assumption?  A promise?  Or just something the red snow globe on her dresser somehow conveyed to her?  I don’t know, but that sentence is sticking with me.  It could be a marriage vow.  A promise to a sick parent.  A laughing comment thrown to a friend as you both jump into the air, skydiving for the first (but hopefully not the last.  Bah dum DUM) time.  Last night though, in her dimly lit room, the air smelling like shampoo and freshly washed pajamas, I think it was an assertion.  A statement of trust:  When I’m with you, you’ll be with me, okay?  You’re not going anywhere, all right?

I love my kid.  And not just because she makes me think the world is a better place because she’s in it.

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