Dear Girl-child,

The day you realise that people are cruel, sometimes, simply in order to be cruel, is probably the first crack in your innocence. I wish I could spare you this pain, but I can’t, so instead, I shall hold you, and rock you while you weep, and tell you that you are beautiful, special, clever, brave, loyal, and so, so loved.

When I can, I shall be your shield. When I cannot be your shield, I shall be your sword. When it is inappropriate to be your sword, I shall be the place where you can lay your head, and I shall be the warm arms that comfort you, the soft voice that speaks to you of better things, and the gentle kiss just before you fall asleep.