From the darkness of her room on a night where the clap of thunder and flash of lightning have brought her to a state of half awake, half asleep I hear the voice that has been absent for many years.
It's the voice of my little girl, before this young woman made her appearance. I hover over her bed listening to the sweet mumblings that only her dreams can decipher until I hear "I love you momma." That I understand most clearly.
This night, as I lean over to kiss my little girl goodnight, I forget for a moment that I've only two years until she's an adult and graduating. For now her face is soft and relaxed in sleep and so childlike in the shadows of the night. Come morning she will begin her junior year of high school and be one more step closer to adult hood, but tonight, tonight she is my baby and as the memories flood through my mind, I catch a tear before it can land on her cheek and wake her fully, then kiss her softly and whisper "I love you too baby."