You don’t know this new me… I put my pieces back differently…”

There is a plain and unremarkable front door that opens into an entryway. To the left is a family room with windows looking out over the street, a big wooden television and a red couch. Along the wall in the entry way is a staircase that leads to a second floor with blue carpeting and white metal banisters. 

There is a young girl, not much older than 2 and a half and she’s wearing a white cotton jumper with little yellow roses all over it and small white lace trim with thin straps that are tied on her shoulders. Her hair is in pigtails on either side of her head, golden brown curls tied up in fuzzy yellow string and tiny diamonds sparkling in her ears. She is perfect with her emerald green eyes that shimmer with love and innocence and wonder and rosy pink cheeks from being out in the warm summer sun for too long. She looks up at me and smiles. 

A young boy, slightly older than her, appears behind her and she looks at him, smiling. A woman emerges from another room in the house wearing a pair of white shorts and a white and gold striped t-shirt, gold hoops in her ears. Her hair is short and curled and her blue eyes are accentuated by the bold blue eyeshadow she wears. A man stands beside her in a pair of black shorts and a t-shirt as his arm slides around her waist. He is looking at her, the ends of his mustache curling up into a smile as his hazel eyes shine brightly. 

My attention returns to the girl and I crouch in front of her, taking her hands on mine as I look at her. “Little Jenny, sweet girl, I know what you’ve been through. You didn’t deserve to go through all that and I’m so sorry. I’m here for you, I’m here for you and you’ll never be alone. I’ve got you little one.” She simply smiles and nods. “I want you to come with me. I want you to go upstairs and get whatever you need or want and I want you to come with me.” She nods again, her curls bouncing as she does and then she turns and runs upstairs. 

When she comes back, she is carrying a pair of pink sparkly jelly shoes, an old stuffed yellow dog with a brown pom pom sewn on for his nose and a barbie doll. She reaches her hand out to me and I take it as we walk out of the house, the people now standing on the sidewalk in front, next to a small blossoming cherry tree. Suddenly, she lets go of my hand and runs to them, hugging the little boy first and kissing his cheek. Next she wraps her arms around the man’s neck and kisses his cheek and then the woman, rubbing her little face in her neck tightly. Suddenly, my face is wet with tears as I watch her, but she is happy and carefree. 

“Thank you, momma. Thank you, daddy! I love you!” She says in her soft, sweet baby voice before giving them all one more big hug and then running to me. I grab her into my arms and spin her around while she giggles and clings to me tightly, her arms around my neck. She smells like sunshine and sunscreen. I squeeze my eyes closed as I can feel the tears slipping down my face. I know she cannot stay here any more, she needs to leave so she can grow, but I can feel the intense love she has for her family and they have for her. But they know. They are not sad in any way, they are standing on the sidewalk and waving to her as we begin to walk away. They know I will take care of her and keep her safe. 

As we walk down the street, they get smaller and smaller until we can barely see them anymore. I can sense hesitation but I rub her back gently and whisper in her ear, “I got you, little one…” and she relaxes. We take a turn and continue walking, as two little boys start to appear. They are jumping up and down excitedly and yelling, their own blond curls bouncing against their head as their green eyes twinkle in the sunshine. They are waving, “Momma! Momma! We missed you!” They yell, love radiating from them. More people appear around them, smiling excitedly as slowly, I begin to make out their faces. Friends and other loved ones that I hold so dear to my heart and I can feel happiness within myself. The two little boys run at me and wrap their arms around my waist and legs, hugging me and chattering away. I touch each of their heads gently and smile down at them. 

Suddenly, everyone seems to disappear and it’s just me and the little one in my arms. She puts her hands on my face, her chubby little hands warm on my cheeks. She presses her forehead to mine and our noses touch. “I love you little one. I promise I’ll take care of you.” I murmur to her softly as she rubs her nose against mine gently. In the blink of an eye, she becomes just a ball of sparkly light in my hands and I stare at her. She is beautiful and she is worthy. She is kind, she is love and she is sweet. 

She is me. 

My little boys voices, chattering excitedly, start to clear in my head until I can almost understand what they are saying as they begin to reappear from the mist they are hidden in. I press my hand to my heart as the sparkling beam of light and love start to melt into my chest and I can feel her radiating there, pulsing as she becomes my heartbeat. “I love you little one…” I whisper as suddenly little hands grab at mine. I smile, blinking back the tears as I take my children’s hand and we begin to walk home. 

I love you little one. I’ll save you and keep you safe. 

You are loved. 

You are enough. 

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June 14, 2023

This hit me hard. I cannot find my little one. She’s so locked away. I’ve tried and tried but she’s way out of reach. How wonderful that must feel. Good for you!