I can tell she wants to come out and play but is it safe yet? One can’t blame me for looking out for her. It’s me and her against the world, and we need each other safe. Sometimes I think she detests me, but I have to be firm when it comes to her safety.

The last time I let her out to play, she was happy, but it didn’t last long. I ended up with long lectures, and a written statement that I would be careful about her safety or they’d take her away from me. The scars she has reminded me of that every day. The day I let my guard down. The tears in her eyes were my breaking point. I swore to protect her. It was painful for her too, but she understood.

Lately, she’s been showing signs of ecstasy, but I hope it’s just her endorphins. Otherwise, I’ll have to set up a tighter alarm system and erect a higher wall. I have to be ready for when the rogues come. I have been acing my martial arts classes too, just in case I need to get physical.

She’s growing, and that scares me. It also makes me happy. Is she ready for the world, or is the world prepared for her? I have taught her to control her emotions and not to let her guard down. I want a beautiful world for her, but I can’t create one.What I can do is make sure her heart is in the right place and beating, of course.

Have I always been this icy? When you’ve been through hell and back, you’ll learn a few lessons. I smile on occasion, but the greatest joy is felt internally.When she’s happy. I am a closed book, and to read its content, you have to pass not one but several auditions. Some tried but gave up when I chose her instead.

A voice in my head tells me to let her out today. She’s been indoors too long, and she’s missing the outside breeze. I wonder what she’ll pick to wear.The summer dress or sweats. Maybe she’ll dress up too. I don’t know. Whatever makes her happy.

I break the news to her as we have breakfast, and she smiles ear to ear. I even get a hug as a bonus. I give her twenty minutes, but she bargains, and we settle for thirty. I’ll attend to the garden in the meantime. Now that she’s not around, I’ll listen to some hip-hop too. She doesn’t know that side of me.

I am deeply engrossed in my head and do not hear a thing until someone taps me. She stands there happily, and I turn to my watch. That is new; she didn’t last fifteen minutes. Isn’t she excited about the outdoors anymore? She turns and heads into the house, and that’s when it hits me.

My little girl is grown up and knows home is where she’s safest. That or she’s used to the indoors, and the outdoors don’t fascinate her anymore. I hope when the time comes for the christening; she’ll be ready for them and the outdoors. I pick my trowel and follow her into the house and lock the doors till next time.

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