Daddy’s Little Girl

I pull an empty wagon as you run alongside.
I wait at the bottom after you reply, "No, daddy"
and climb to the top of the slide.
No longer comfortable sitting in my lap,
but nestled beside me, under my arm.
That'll be your spot for as long as you want.
I know the time will come
when you'll prefer to walk than be carried:
my arms will be relieved, but my heart will weep ceaselessly.
I dread the day when you'll ask for hugs without the kisses,
but I'll understand.
I'll continue to encourage your independence as best I can,
but to me, you'll always be . . .
daddy's little girl .

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