For five and a half years, I've lived with this blond-headed, comb-protesting, wild fire of a girl--the one with the elevated vocabulary and the desire to raise chickens and dinosaurs. She's starting kindergarten tomorrow. I'm not going to get mushy here.
Because this is far from a mushy moment. She came with injections twice a day for nine months. She came not breathing at two months old with a monitor around her chest for six months, and she moved through a divorce and skinned knees and dead birds and a working mom, and she would never say to you, "Life has been hard on me" even when I've moaned about it under my breath at the kitchen sink crying lonely or scraping uneaten dinners into the scrap bucket. Because her laughter happens daily and often. Because she tells me jokes from the back seat of the truck: "I'd forget my hair if it wasn't attached to my head!" Because she walks on tip toes like the really fast foals and yells and kicks her way through the "no's" I say to her even when it would be more convenient for me if she'd just say, "Yes, ma'am."
But I was never yes-ma'am, and she isn't either. Though she is loving and polite and generous. She is not yes-ma'am. She is Yes. So as Grandpa always said, "Don't hold back, kid--there ain't no reason."
That was pretty mushy. Ah well.