She looked up at me with her tiny little eyes.
“But, what if I don’t want to grow up?” Her eyes were full of doubt, questioning, confusion.
My precious girl. My brave little creature who, despite her young age, was older than most. What she had been through, few deserved. I looked at her. I wanted to tell her she didn’t need to grow up, she could stay little for as long as she liked. No one could ever steal her innocence from her. But I knew she would call my bluff. I’d raised a smart girl. So how could I possibly respond to her question? How could I look my little girl in the eyes and tell her that in fact life is going to force her to grow up, whether she wants to or not, but that’ll she do just fine.
“It’s okay, darling. You don’t ever have to decide to grow up. And don’t you ever let someone tell you to do so. Just be exactly who you wish to be. Be four years old when you’re twenty, be fifty-two when you’re ten. You’ll figure it out. You’ll see what life brings you and deal with it when it comes. As long as you are you,” I started but her little lips couldn’t be quiet for long.
“But mom, of course I’m me. Silly you, who else would I be?” she interrupted, a snicker leaving her sweet face. She disappeared into her imaginative wonderland, confusion vanished.
Oh, bless her soul. She’ll be alright. My little bluebird, of course you’ll always be you and for that I am forever grateful.