In twenty-one days, our little girl will turn seven.

Time moves.  Some days it is incredibly hard to accept.

In the last few days, I’ve really absorbed how the passage of time is marked in our everyday.  I am struck at how my daughter’s face is changing, how she tumbles, flips and does hand stands across the house, and how she spells words like medicine, vaccine, and vegetables. How is this possible? How does this happen?

I confess that my heightened awareness is because of what happened in Newtown. It is not lost on me that all of the children who passed were either six or seven years old. In the quiet moments since the tragedy, I look over at my own daughter and choke back tears. She is six about to be seven I say to myself. It is an age filled with so much innocence and love and hope. She believes in Santa Claus and this year when we were putting up ornaments on the tree, as one gold clip fell, she said, “I am going to pick this pin up Momma because Santa Claus may get hurt if he steps on it.” I smiled at the innocence of her words. She is all about paper everything. Almost everyday she is drawing a heart and saying the words, “I love you,” in Technicolor. Over the weekend, for her Daddy’s birthday, she made a dozen cards, with stick drawings, spiky hair and all of the different experiences she shared with him. There were tents, basketballs, and pictures of them watching movies together. She laughs and cries almost everyday about everything. She is my very real reminder that life is so fast and slow and hard and happy all at the same time. She is the epitomy of unconditional love.

This morning as we drove to school, we played hangman in the car. I guessed the letters a, b, r and s and then finally gave up. I asked her, “What were your words?” She responded, “I love you Mommy.”

With that, I brushed away a single tear. This is what living between six and seven means.