I wish I could protect her from the world. The dark, smelly, hurtful world that would teach her that she needs to scratch her way to the top. I wish I could let her know that there is no competition for the love of people who mattered - and those who you need to earn the love of but never seem to be able to - they don't matter. I wish I could tell her that she was never inside me, but she was always my first love. She stole a bit of my heart even before she was born, and had been stealing a little more of it every now and then. Now that I am so far away from her - I feel the tug at my heartstring, every now and then, a sharp tug that almost brings tears. She is only a tiny bit over three now, and, I feel like she is already feeling the sharpness of the jagged ends of the world.