When she stands on tippy-toe, she can just see over the edge of the windowsill. From there, the little dogwood tree in the front yard towers over her, and the robin’s nest is high, high.
She can’t reach the raisin toast on the counter. But those kitchen drawers house whole worlds of wonders: bowls and spatulas, sieves and funnels.
The bookshelf might as well be a castle wall, and each book a stone. As yet, they’re too large for her to hold, too dense for her to crack.
She can stretch out in the tub, though. All the way. She flips onto her tummy and wiggles her toes and kicks her feet. She can play mermaid, beating her tail against the current, slipping through the jaws of sharks and hiding in sparkling underwater castles.
The “bonk” bed is a bit too high for her, bottom bunk notwithstanding. She grabs fistfuls of sheets and pulls with all her might and scrambles in. She flips through the pages of a High Five magazine, and every hidden picture puzzle and silly illustration is new again. She scrunches her eyes and rolls her head back on her shoulders, a silent laugh shaking her chest. “It’s so funny.”
Mommy’s arms are strong enough to lift her, to spin her through the air, round and round, in a flurry of squeals and giggles. Fancy skirts twirl big, and anything with sparkles feels like magic, and all the fairy tales are true.
She stands, looking up, and I am so tall. My words fall heavy from such a height. What does she see in my face, when my hair hangs down and my eyes meet hers?
“Do you know that you’re lovely?” I say.
“Mm-hmm,” she replies.
She pushes the hair out of her eyes with the back of her arm and runs down the hall.
It’s a long way to the bedroom.