"'Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life....'" ~ Betty Smith, A

I am watching my middle child metamorphosis, shedding her awkward, innocent days of skinned knees, dirty fingernails, the swings and slides of childhood and begin her to journey to adulthood. I feel pride. Mostly, though, I feel a desire for her to embrace the world. For the next few years she will form into a young woman in the chrysalis of middle school. I hope for her to live in the present, to explore, to learn. She can grow freely, knowing that as her mother, I will hold on to her childhood days for her. Someday when we are both old women I will hand all her childhood back. We will laugh and smile and cry about the days she left behind and celebrate her past, present and future. Today I will grab every detail for her. I will document these pieces of her in a way that only I can.

"'Dear God,' she prayed, 'let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere - be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.'”

― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn