I see the beginning of that kind of relationship with this sweet child. I love her and am proud of who she is becoming.
I ache for her because I know what's coming. She'll have heartbreak and sadness and pain that none of us want for our children, but none of us have the power to stop. But, then, I am excited for her because I know what's coming. She'll have love and joy and success and fulfillment in a way that every parent hopes their child will feel.
Right now, though, she is still only nearly eight. She is still losing teeth and still plays with dolls. I am going to savor every bit of the Little Girl that is left. Before I know it, she will be wearing mascara and heels and sitting in the front seat of the car. But maybe, if I do this right, she will want to hold my hand and will lean on me when she needs to cry for many years to come.
Like I do with my mom, my grown-up friend. Some things don't have to change.