She wants a treat when we visit the coffee shop. On pointed toes, eyes stretched atop the counter. “Breakfast bar, please.”

I won’t always say yes to a breakfast bar, I say.

I know, she says.

I do. I always say yes to a breakfast bar.

I am crying, on the floor. I am anxious about a project that isn’t going well, that I fear I’ll never finish, that I’m afraid will turn out terribly, that I’ll be embarrassed when it does.

Here, Mom, she says. Take my stuffed frog. And here, this squirrel. And my chickie. Do you feel better?

I don’t feel better. But I want to feel better, and that is enough, and so, Yes, I say. Yes, I feel better. Thank you.

She wants to be 6 for her birthday. 6 is a good number, she says. I will reach the pistachios when I am 6, and also I can be named Calvin. Can we get a cat when I am named Calvin?

We visit the pond. We snack on granola and throw rocks, and she asks if it will be like this tomorrow, if we can do this same thing tomorrow and the next day and the next day until forever, when she is named Calvin.

Someday you might not want to throw rocks with me, I say.

Yes, she tells me. I will always want to throw rocks with you.

And so I believe her. I believe her because I want to, because I choose to, because tomorrow will arrive and I will be here, waiting, with rocks.

  • I have tears in my eyes, Erin, because you always know how to move me with your words. BAM – a suckerpunch to this heart of mine. What beautiful little snippets of your world. And, goodness, what a sweetheart your girl is <3 Her lovely words are so precious, full of childhood naivety and, oh my, how delightful that is.

    Treat yourself to that breakfast bar next time, Mama. You deserve it. And I do very much hope the project went through ok. We've all got your back, we're all here to support you if you need us xxx

  • This is probably because I’m having a super raw day, but I’m all teary – so beautiful Erin. And rocks are a big part of my boys’ lives too. :)

  • Erin, as always, your words are beautiful and so true. Love these memories!
    You’re amazing, and I totally want to be friends :)
    Keep being raw, honest and wonderful.

  • You have a beautiful way with words! As I watch my three babies grow into teens…….tears roll. Thank you for that.

  • Don’t be crushed on the day she doesn’t want to “throw rocks with you” because it will only mark a phase she is going through. Take solace in knowing she will come out of that phase and will return to once again want “to throw rocks with you”. I tell you this by my own experience with my mother. My endearing connection wasn’t “rock throwing”, but playing Chinese checkers”. Wishing you the best on your project and remain mindful.

  • We do this too – you won’t always get a treat, you know? Yes but can I have the ice cream biscuit for breakfast? (waffle bowl, of course). They’re gems, aren’t they? Happy Early Birthday to Bee!

  • oh, dear erin, such sweet words, and try not to worry so much about your project, it is apparent that you give your all and i am most sure it will all turn out very well … i know all too well, easier said then done x

  • I am not a mom, but I am a daughter. The way you write about your relationship with your daughter never fails to make me think of how every mother is simply a grown up girl, trying her best. And that the relationship between a mother and daughter is one of the most precious in this world. I lost my mom to cancer less than a month ago and tears flowed as I read your words and still, as I write. You have a gift for touching the heart and reminding us of our importance to each other. Thank you, Erin.

    • Oh sweet Lesley, I am so sorry to hear you lost your mother, and I know you likely brought her great peace in knowing that yes, she was a grown up girl trying her best. I would do well to think of my own mother in the same manner. ;) We are hardest on the ones we love, aren’t we?

      Thank you for the encouragement, the perspective, the reminders. :) You are such a gift!

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