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Three years old. And you are my Quil. You hold me better than anyone else, you play with me more than anyone else, you bring my doll in for me when I forget her in the rain.
Four years old. And you are my Quil. You know the best way to push the swing so I feel like I'm flying and for a few seconds I'm scared but then the next you're holding me. I don't tell you that I don't swing for the first feeling. I figure you must already know.
Five years old. And you are my Quil. Aunt Emily won't let me have another piece of pie. When she isn't looking you give me yours. Yours tastes better than mine did.
Six years old. And you are my Quil. I drop the picture of a wolf I made you at school in a puddle on the way home. You put it in the wall in your family room anyways. You tell me it's one of your favorites. I like the one of us riding in your car better.
Seven years old. And you are my Quil. My friend Roger won't talk to me cuz I'm a girl. He says big boys don't like girls. You tell me you're the biggest boy around and like me better than anyone in the whole world. That makes me feel pretty important. I'd rather you like me than Roger anyways.
Eight years old. And you are my Quil. I overhear Aunt Leah asking you if you would rather have not met me. You tell me that she's just jealous that you love me more than anyone loves her. I would tell her that but I feel like it's a secret. I don't wanna let her in on OUR secret. Plus I don't wanna make her sad.
Nine years old. And you are my Quil. You come to parent day at my school, because mommy is working. They ask if you're my daddy. I tell them of course not, you're too young to be my daddy, and that makes you smile. Then they ask what you are exactly. I don't seem to have an answer good enough for them. That makes you stop smiling.
Ten years old. And you are my Quil. You take me trick-or-treating this year. You dress up as Superman. You get me a Wonderwoman costume, but I tell you I would rather be Superman, too.
Eleven years old. And you are my Quil. We're at Disneyworld. As soon as we get there I find the biggest ride ever and beg you to go on it with me. You hold my hand the whole time and when we get off you hug me so tight I can't breathe. If I knew you would get so scared I would have gone with Uncle Sam, you big baby.
Twelve years old. And you are my Quil. I get my period for the first time while we're at the movies. You give me your jacket to wear around my waist. I cry on the way home cuz it's so gross, but then I stop when you tell me it means I'm a woman now. I feel like something's changed between us. I think it's that you respect me now. I am a woman afterall.
Thirteen years old. And you are my Quil. We go to the beach one day during the summer. Even though I've seen you without a shirt on like a million times before, my mind wanders to a different place than it has before. I blush and aviod your eyes until you start splashing me.
Fourteen years old. And you are my Quil. Tommy Hill kisses me one day before school. It's nice and I smile and take his hand as we walk inside. But I can't help but notice how his hand doesn't really help to keep mine warm.
Fifteen years old. And you are my Quil. We get in a car crash the day after Christmas. I sprain my wrist. It's the first time I've ever seen you cry.
Sixteen years old. And you are my Quil. Tommy and I are kissing and I call him Quil. I don't know why I did that, and I have no answer when he asks.
Seventeen years old. And you are my Quil. I tell Aunt Emily I think I may love you. I tell her I wish you would love me back, the way Uncle Sam loves her. She just smiles and tells me that of course you love me, and that I'm being silly in thinking that there's any way that you don't.
Eighteen years old. And you are my Quil. You hold me tighter than anyone else, you kiss me in that way that makes my knees go weak, you sing to me when no one is around and you love me in that way that I always felt, but never really understood. I understand now.