i would tell you i love you more than my life, that your existence is more vital than anything in the world, that your smile helps me up every day; i would tell you that since the first moment, when the pain and blood had passed and they put you in my arms, my heart was lost, my every happiness given into your care. i would tell you that every stumble and fall, every cut and bruise, every emotional jab and moment not of perfect happiness hurts me as well, though i know the falls help you learn to stand and the sadness to appreciate joy. i would tell you i worry and fear as you grow and step away, that every move towards independence is a necessary stab to my heart; i endure it believing it vital but if i could, i would trap you and keep you here, unchanging and mine forever. i would tell you these things but they’d be chains; i would not put a weight on your shoulders that’s not yours to bear. all that’s left is to tell you i love you and send you into the world to make your way.