How long will she need or want this help? How many times have I told her she could do it herself so I could get something else done? For some reason, it felt important tonight. Helping her wash her hair felt like the most important place I could be. Maybe it's because she's growing up so quickly. Maybe it's because we've been talking a bit about the horrors of the world. Maybe it's because the evenings are getting dark and cool, the crickets are chirping their last chirps and the elk are bugling their fall reveille, reminding me of the eternal passage of time.
She will start fourth grade in the morning. Impossible, but true. She is nine and the math people in the world know that nine plus nine equals 18, which means she's halfway to adult. I will never have enough days with her. I will never share enough books with her. I will never hear her lovingly care for her youngest brother or play the piano just so or write a note just to tell me she loves me enough. I just won't.
This time I have with her is precious. Not perfect because neither of us are, but precious. Of all the girls in all the world, God chose me to be Audrey's mama and for that I could not possibly be more thankful.