I take a picture of her in my mind. I record her words in my heart. If I can, I snap a picture. If I can, I write it down.

I do this for the day she yells at me, or mumbles under her breath if she’s learned anything at all, “I hate you” or “You don’t understand me” or “It’s not fair” in ten years.

Please, let it be ten years before that is here.

It will still feel like it is tomorrow.

I do this for tomorrow when she melts down into a puddle of a child before nap time.

I do this for myself so that I can calmly scoop her up and into my arms because I remember her.

She, in her pink tutu and ruby red slippers, frolics down the street brushing the blond wisps of hair out of her blue moon eyes.

“Mama, I love you like a rainbow loves. Big and colorful, and so big.”

Hop, skip, twirl. Light, free, joy.

The sun shines brightly on what’s left of her blond pig tails.

I use these snapshots to pad my heart. For all of the tomorrows to come.