My girl is sick. And so it is, in those dark, quiet moments that I feel my greatest strength and purpose. The feeling of doubts and shortfalls dissipate as I settle into my one true role as mother. It’s the warmness of her body, the spent look on her face, the sag around her eyes. It’s the labored breaths, the intermittent coughs, the croaky whisper when she pleads, mommy. Every miniscule part of her existence needs me in those moments and anything I could have been debating in my mind about work, photography, the state of the house, the state of the world disappears in her need. In those late night moments it is just me, my girl and some lullabies playing from when she was a baby. The rest of the world could crumble and fall away and just leave her nestled into me, my hands stroking her hair, touching her cheeks, leaning over to kiss her nose, rub her feet where I know to look for fever first with her. Anything I aspire to be, any doubts in my mind disappear as I whisper the only thing I can tell her for sure “I’m here and I love you“. Because this more than anything was what I know I was meant to do with this life. This is where I feel so confidently that I know that it was meant to be. If I could do nothing else in this life but be here for my children when they need me most, then anything else is just a bonus.