It isn't always easy being an adorable little almost-three-year-old girl.
The world doesn't always stop and let you take your time. Mommies and Daddies don't pick you up when you ask them, and they even won't let you watch Caillou every time no matter how often you tell them how important that is. Big Brothers sometimes push you, or take your stuff. Baby Ryan, your beloved daycare diva rival, is an ever-present threat. There's never enough juice.
But there are every scarier things. There's the Dark. And loud, barking dogs! And scary monsters that Daddy and Mommy don't see. So when your coughing wakes you in the night, it does help to have a Daddy come and cuddle you close and give you Good Medicine (liquid Benedryl) for your cough. And it helps to have a Big Brother draw you a friendly T-Rex to scare the scary monsters away.
Oh, little sweetheart. I wish I could protect you from the real scary monsters outside your bedroom. Hard fists to hurt you, and harder words to wound you. The people who will judge you for your face, and the even more treacherous ones who will lust after you for it. The pain of loss, the fear of poverty and helplessness. All the sharp, hard, painful edges that wait for you that I can do nothing about but worry and love you.
But this morning, at least, I can sit with you in the dark, rub your frail shoulders through your soft jammies and watch you yawn, your sweet eyes blink, and droop, and then close back into peaceful sleep.