Some days I find I love her so hard it actually hurts in my flesh and blood heart; not just in that metaphorical spot where mothers supposedly store their emotions. It hurts and I feel it in all four chambers even if the heart beats on oblivious.

I love her in the dark wee hours when I fumble for glasses and sigh through her soft whimpers at this having to get up again and again and again. But then there she is, curled up into the crook of my arm with chubby leg hanging just so over my hand.

I run my fingers over her toes. They curl around and into my palm.

The love beat is so loud in those quiet moments I am certain she must hear it too. The blood pumping a drum beat dance of the great mother love that sings down through the ages and ululates a wild love cry over this tiny daughter of mine.

I would dance barefoot in the rain for you, baby girl.

The dark cocoons us both and the rocking chair whispers and she drinks and I cup her head.

I bow low over that silver sheen that the bathroom light reflects – the tiny halo of hair. And inside something worships – something breaks wide open and the blood rushes through it and I am certain my chest cannot contain this emotion.

This wonder at being a fingerprint in God’s palm as He created and cast a life into being.

There it is, the mark of me on this girl child. She knows. She watches me from under half closed lashes in between gulps and breaths and my eyes tell her, “yes, yes I was part of your making.”

I am her beginning and in every way that this pock-marked history of being a daughter adrift from a mother has scarred me, she is my new beginning too.

Blood beats. Daughter drinks. Spirit exhales.

I hold that hand and find that she holds me. All that the deceiver sought to rob me of, all my daughterhood lost for years, are soothed and restored by those five chubby fingers.

Then slowly, with the creaking limbs of one who knows the value of silence at midnight I unwind her from myself and back into her own bed. And there it is, the soft sigh of a baby full and content.

My benediction.

{My incredibly grateful thanks to Ann Voskamp, for capturing these photos – they are a gift Zoe and I will always treasure.} Want to keep up with this here blog – sign up to get my posts emailed to your doorstep right here Or delivered to your reader of choice. Or just like us on Facebook.