Four blankets draped over her, a stuffed lion and baby doll under arm, she sleeps. I look at her and see the future: tomorrow morning picking out clothes for the day, next summer visiting grandparents, fifteen years from now dropping her off at college.
Today she ate cereal for breakfast. She watched a movie and did puzzles and then we went to the grocery store. Sitting in the back of the shopping cart, facing me, she sang and chattered her way down every aisle.
She played soccer in the afternoon. Well, she sat on the ball, dribbled it, kicked it into the goal more than once. She ate two helpings of spaghetti with butter. When the time came to wash up for bed, she would've preferred to continue playing her little ukulele, which she made clear to me by rolling around on the floor, crying hysterically. She cried so loud and so hard that any childless passersby would've thought me an abusive father, but all I'd done, I promise, was tell her it was time for pajamas and brushing teeth.
Now as she rests in her little bed and I think of all the days ahead, I wonder what the world will be like for her, what decisions she'll make. It's too much for me sometimes, the world all around us. But right now the night air is still and she and I are within the same walls. I know it's selfish of me to give her a tiny kiss on the cheek while she's asleep, but I do it anyway.