My daughter, Maya, is growing up too quickly. At some point the little girl who used to love to jump into my arms turned into a sophisticated pre-teen with an aversion to displays of affection, especially toward her father. That’s why the hand on my arm took me by surprise.

It was one of those perfect spring days in Seattle: 70 degrees, sunny and breezy. Maya and I rode the log flume at Seattle Center and played some carnival games. As we walked around the fair grounds together, I felt the little hand on my arm and a brilliant day got even brighter.

The next day, Maya and I walked to the supermarket together and there it was again. Maya knew I was about to leave on a business trip so I imagine that might have had something to do with it. But whatever the reason, once again I felt the indescribable joy of that soft tug on my sleeve. It says to me: “I’m still your little girl”.

As we walked along, I thought about how my father probably felt the same way about me when I was ten and how quickly life passes us by. Someday, that hand will again be on my arm but for a different reason. It will say to me, “Don’t worry Dad, I’ll take care of you”.