Last week my daughter and I spent Spring Break together. We hung out at home and in around places that were nearby.  Before her break started, she devised a list of activities she wanted to do during the week. On Sunday night, the day before her break officially commenced, we watched a movie at home. We slid Judy Moody and the Bummer Summer into the DVD player. She grabbed popcorn from the bowl, popping each piece in her mouth, while her gaze never shifted from the movie. My husband and I watched her giggle. Many times during the movie, she turned toward us and proclaimed, “This is so much fun!”

We read books together, made crafts, and enjoyed unscheduled days together. Because we occupied each other’s space, there were times when I scolded her and she apologized for her offending behavior. After these brief little battles, she moved forward and asked, “Can we do the next thing on my list?” As the week charged on, we made brownies, had a lunch date, walked around in the mall, and visited the local cupcake place that was featured on Cupcake wars.  In the evenings, we ventured to the tennis courts and I channelled my best Chris Evert, which guaranteed unstoppable laughter from my little girl.

I realize that this time we spend together is what she will cherish and remember. She is seven, where so much of what I say and how we interact will have an impression on her. This window of time, where she absorbs everything  I say and do is finite. I realize this as she now includes the word embarrassed as a part of her vocabulary. She holds my hand a little less and sometimes pulls away when I kiss her cheek in front of her friends.

Her world is expanding and before I know it, her circle of love will include others.

I am holding on to every last memento of our shared love. One of my favorite memories of this Spring Break came in the form of a letter from my daughter. In one part of the letter, she writes, “You are the best mom ever! And I mean it! Mom!” When I read these words to my husband, a single tear fell from my cheek because I felt a multitude of emotions. I clutched the letter tight and stared at it for several minutes.

Holding on. Knowing one day, I will have to let go.