You love the pool your grandparents bought for you - bright orange with bouncy edges. As I set you down, you kick and splash and smile up at me - a smile that simultaneously breaks and fills my heart. I want to tell you how fragile your hair looks - small wisps jutting out at all angles, sticky with water. I want to tell you how precious your laugh sounds as it bubbles up, deep from your belly. I want to tell you how cold the water feels, a welcome relief from the Texas heat. I want to tell you to be careful as you stand up and walk across the slick bottom, to be careful as you swing the hose from side to side, spraying the yellow, burnt parchment paper that is moonlighting as grass. I want to run and grab you as you slip, landing with a big splash in the water - this makes you laugh though, so in turn I do too. I want to know what you are chattering about as your shouts of “ma, ma, ba, da” get louder and louder, so loud that you even surprise yourself. I want to tell you how much I love your round belly, full from lunch. How much I love your determination as you attempt to climb out, over the edges; you almost succeed. I want to tell you how infectious your joy is as you fill cup after cup with water. I want to tell you how big my dreams are for you, how proud I am to be your mom. I want to tell you how I could sit for hours and watch you study the world. How fiercely I’ve loved you since the first time I felt you fluttering in my belly, how surreal it was the day after you were born to no longer be joined together. How for days after we brought you home, when I would look in the mirror I would see your face instead of my own. I want to tell you how sure I am that I am going to mess up as your mother, but that I will never stop loving you. How scared I am, knowing that you are growing up so fast, and that one day you will pack up all of your things and leave me. But instead I sit down, lean back, let the sun kiss my feet - until you reach for me, ready to get out.