she is ten years old. sometimes we hang out. she is my family. i love her. she makes me better. suddenly words which i used because i claimed i had no alternative become profane prohibited transgressions instead of benign tools of mere frustration. and music that gives me release makes me tense in her presence because i don't want her to express herself that way - i don't want her to think that the things espoused in those lyrics are things that i agree with, or things that she should agree with. i hear jazz now through her virgin ears. it is foreign and strange, but i still like it and i hope that she does too. i think twice about what i eat, because i don't want her to poison her own body. i am more positive with my words and my attitude, because the last thing this world needs is another young lady trying to emulate the negativity she sees all around her. she makes me better. i think of things that we can do that will affirm her sense of identity and bolster her self-love and self-pride. funny how those same things do the same for me, although i am grown and that's supposed to somehow make me "finished." being with her shows me just how much more i have to learn. i remember being her age and younger. looking at adults with such pity because they seemed to have forgotten the wisdom of their youth. she reminds me of what i must hold on to and what i cannot forget as time passes and i change. i admire her youth and her beauty and the chance that she has to live the opportunities that i didn't know of... partially through my small influence. so i give to her. nothing special or fancy. just attention. conversation. plans to look forward to. and i just know that as much as i am giving her something - an outlet, a different adult to hang out with sometimes... i know that she is giving me something too. i love her. she makes me better.