Four. How in the world? She dresses herself in sunshine and brushes my hair with sticky fingers and asks with a suredness beyond her four, "so, I'm gwowed up now?"
I want to hold on to her a little longer. Protect her from the world that waits with curled fingers ready to grab her sweetness. From mean girls and leeching boys.
I want to shield her from brokenness - but that is what will make her strong - that is where she will find the woman in her to take on the world and make it better.
So there I'll stand, at the end of that long driveway, waving through the choking dust as the bus swirls away...
But this I know with all my heart: I will always call her baby.