She does this sometimes. She creeps down from her bedroom after I’ve tucked her in. She has some kind of offering. A drawing. A love note for me. The screenplay for the movie she and some friends are making about unicorns. A bookmark made of paper clips and string.
Today it is a news report. She squints her eyes and lowers her voice, trying to be like a serious newscaster. She starts to read to it me “Hello I am E, on the news.”
Wait, I tell her. Start again. I want to tape it.
All I can think of is: she said her name. E, the name I gave her when she was born. That beautiful, perfect name. I can save this forever if I tape it.
In the weeks and months since the bathtub moment, I’ve clung to this name. When I see it written, it makes my heart swell. I wonder how much time I have left with it. It was so carefully chosen. We thought it suited her so well. Were we wrong? Will it become a symbol of a time that gets abandoned? Will she look back on it with shame?
But today she is owning it. Her future self, reporting the news.
I am E.