A few days later while watching a movie as she sat in my lap I held her again and whispered "stay." She turned to me and patted my arm. "No mommy, me go." She looked knowingly at me. And hugged me.
Years from now I will likely hold her in a driveway or a parking lot and try hard not to whisper stay so she can go off to college and step out on her own. Then the day that I have been praying for will come and she in her white dress will slip away from me and down an aisle to a boy. I may just whisper to myself, in the pew as I hold my love's hand, "stay."
No mommy. Me go.