I love being upstairs in my daughter’s room. Maybe its because she calls it her “princess tower”. Or maybe its because its filled with all things make believe that illuminate her imagination, reminding me of how fun life is when you see through the eyes of a child.

But this past Sunday while EC and I were in her “tower”, she nearly broke my heart. As I was putting away laundry, she sat in her little chair watching Tinker Bell. When she asked for covers, I tried to put the blanket over her, but it barely covered past her ankles. I nonchalantly said, “You’re just getting so tall!” She quickly replied, “I don’t want to get so tall.” It caught me off guard, but I responded telling her that it was ok to get tall; that she is growing up into a big girl and that she can grow tall like mommy. And that’s when it happened. That’s when she nearly broke my heart. She responded in a pitiful voice that sounded like she was on the verge of tears saying, “But if I grow so tall then you won’t be able to hold me anymore.” Did your heart just break? Because mine almost did.

I immediately dropped the pile of clothes I had just folded and scooped her up in the biggest mommy hug ever. As I choked on my tears I replied, “Lovie, no matter how tall you get, Mommy will always always always hold you. I promise. I will always hold you.” She nestled her head onto my shoulder, and in that same pitiful voice said, “I love you, Mommy.” I tearfully whispered back, “I love you, too, my love bug.”

That night I read her one of my favorite stories from when I was a child, Love You Forever. I pointed to all the pictures of the mother holding her son, no matter how much he grew.

One of my biggest fears is the day my daughter realizes the cruelty of the world. I dread the day she feels insecure or is bullied at school; the day she no longer believes in fairytales or thinks she is too grown up to still be my baby girl. And every day I do all that I can to protect her from the harsh reality of the world, but in my heart I know she will eventually have to face it. I just hope that I am able to teach her to be confident in who she is and what she believes – to know that her creativity and imagination don’t have to be stifled by doubters, and that no matter what, I will always always always hold her. Always.

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