I remember coming home from the hospital with Abbey.
She was born in Summerville, and we had to bring her home to West Ashley.
George drove in the slow lane and never accelerated over 15 mph.
I remember feeling so safe, glad he understood the significance of this car ride.
I remember counting her toes, studying every inch of her skin, learning the expressions, sounds, and smells of this gift.
I remember her father and I arguing over whose turn it was to hold her, whose turn it was to rock her to sleep.
I remember asking, many times, what did we used to do? How did we spend our time? What possibly could have mattered before this fairy, this pixie, this sprite started casting her spells on us.
I remember when Abbey was 4 years old. I told her I wanted to freeze her. She would always be my little 4 year old girl. She promised she would stay.
She's 12. I want her to stay 12. She still likes me (sometimes). She asks for my advice (occasionally). She giggles (often). She jokes about everything. She knows she's beautiful, but doesn't let it matter. She's changing into a woman. I cry at night wishing my baby would stay, childlike, or at least with me.
I want to bottle her joy, her laughter, her sincerity, her kindness, her love, her wisdom, her humor, her gentleness, her faith and her hope.
I celebrate her life, everyday. She's my little goose, my baby, my mini, her father's joy.