My middle. My girl. Fierce, wide-eyed, brave. With your loud, true laugh and a run that looks like dancing, skipping, rushing. Like your feet can’t keep up.
You’ve never loved hugs. They don’t suit you in the daylight.
But at night, when the house is sleeping, you crawl into my bed, pulling the covers over you and my arms around you. Placing my arms where you would like them. Silently asking to be held and showing me how. Nestled into my chest. Sighing.
And there you stay, for five minutes or forty-five. Quiet. Awake. Close. Until I ask gently if you are ready, ready to go back to your bed. Sometimes you need more time. Sometimes you whisper “yes” and sneak with me back into the room where your brother sleeps so deeply. And I cover you up, whisper “I love you” and watch as you smile and close your eyes.
My middle, my center.