It is morning. It is we’re-almost-late-to-school-just-hurry-up-and-get-in-the-car-o’clock. I am driving (always driving) into the late winter sunshine. I am merging onto the freeway between a slow, filthy delivery truck and a dusty gray Toyota Camry. The stereo is on, kid music (always kid music), wafting into the back seat. I am sighing (always sighing) with impatience at the drivers who aren’t (don’t want to, don’t care about) driving the speed limit. I hear giggling. I glance up in my rear view mirror.
My breath (my heart) catches suddenly in my throat. I see one gorgeous, goofy, flesh-and-blood, all-mine little boy leaning with all his might against the straps of his carseat. He is doing everything he can to elicit the giggles of another gorgeous, goofy, flesh-and-blood, all-mine little being. My little girl.
I am blinking back tears driving behind a filthy truck going too slow on a late-to-school morning. This, too, is my always.