"Mama," she chastizes me, "you have to come home."
"Yes, love," I tell her, "I'm on my way. I'm in my car right now."
"You have to drive fastly," she says. I hear the admonishment in her voice. "So you don't get home so late."
"I'll be home as soon as I can," I tell her. "But I can't drive too fast; I don't want to get into an accident."
"Well, OK," she says, grudgingly. I can hear her crossed arms.
"Mama," she tells me, from her bed, wrapping her small arms tightly around my neck, "you're trapped."
I've missed you, too, I think. "OK," I agree. "But what about work tomorrow? How will I get to work?"
"I will un-trap you in the morning," she assures me, hugging even more tightly.
I laugh, but in truth, that would be fine with me.
I love both of my children. My son is a delight. But I call my daughter my "special girl." And every time she loves me like this, fiercely, it returns to me: against the odds, she is the one who lived.