"I don't know if I want to turn five." she said, her voice small and still.
This birthday, it's just around the corner, inching closer though I wish it wouldn't.
"Why sweetheart? Why don't you?" I watched as she brought the two small horses together, encouraging them to touch.
"I'm afraid when I turn five, I'm afraid you won't be able to hold me anymore. To hold me close."
And with that I scooped her up and into my arms. I squeezed as much love into her as I could, and I assured her right then and there that I'll hold her, as long as she'll sit on my lap.
Sufficient enough I suppose because she smiled, returned to her horses, and relaxed.
"In fact, on the morning of your fifth birthday, the first thing I'll do, is to hold you." I promised.
Oh, the power of being held. The courage and grace and magic of touch. It's a need deep within us, whether we're five or forty. The warmth of an embrace, the knowing that we're seen, that we're there, that we're worthy of being held.
I pray she feels held all of her years. First by me, then by friends, some day by a man that loves her (nearly) as much as her mama, and of course that she always feels held by her Savior.
I hope and I love and I pour into her words of affirmation, words to live by and to hold onto, and to pull out of her pocket on the days when I can't be there to hold her.
Until then, each day I am blessed to wake up her mama, I shall hold her, I shall hold her close, and keep her there and just not let go.