And then, she was 8.

I’m torn between bursting in pride with what a beautiful person she is turning into, and bursting into tears at how swiftly time is passing by.

Time passes quickly, doesn’t it?

This girl takes my breath away. She’s witty and sarcastic. Sensitive and sweet. Overly dramatic and very inquisitive. She is flawed, tempered and spirited – and it is there, within her little hints of imperfections and precarious ways, that lies the true beauty and miracle that is her.

I can see hints of a young woman peeking through despite her desire to play dolls and make believe. She talks about fairies with authority, Santa Claus with confidence, but questions the politics on the news hour with suspicion. Her eyes flicker with a knowledge beyond her years. Her sensitivity towards people, and kindness towards animals, suggests a grace about to flourish.

She is a good girl. A great kid. And she is mine, for now.

As time passes I can see that she is becoming a part of the world in her own right. As she steps into this role, I know that I’ll have to start taking a step back as mom.  It is the independence I am working to cultivate which will ultimately allow her to be all on her own. And that is the way it should be.

But not yet.

For now I snuggle her tight at night, hold her hand, and love her.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl.