“Do you know what I want for my birthday, Momma?” She moves around the living room on her mobile scooter, giggling as she poses her question. She scoots behind me and I smell time passing. She can no longer be cuddled in my arms. For the last few months, I’ve struggled to lift her into my grip. Yet another sign that letting go is always in the horizon.

My thoughts are interrupted with her giddy voice, “Momma, are you going to answer my question?”

“Why don’t you tell me. What do you want for your birthday?” I am uncertain what her answer will reveal.

“For my birthday I just want to hang out with you.” Loud and with conviction, every word is direct and punctuated with meaning.

I pause. Her birthday wish speeds through my veins. Overcome, I say, “Really, you just want to spend the day with me?”

Again, she says “Yes.”

This conversation I will remember for the rest of my life. Most of the time I feel like a camera, witnessing various shots of our lives not knowing which picture will be the one with most focus.

But this moment is so clear and crystalline. Her answer so honest and my feeling so genuine, I can feel it in my marrow.

Happy Seventh Birthday dear daughter! May you always want to hang out with your Momma. xoxo