“I will hold my Boo-Boo!” she orated, standing on the bed in the semi-darkness, wispy blondish hair splaying out from her head as she shook her head from side to side. “I pat Boo-Boo!” The head shaking continued, accompanied by a serious look not unlike a teacher looking down her nose, a dare for me to interrupt her. I did not. She added more about Boo-Boo eating cat food, then added bits about her being sick, then “I pat her.” Her arms were drawn forward, towards the now-only-remembered feline.

My daughter turned down my kind offer to put her to sleep early, so we left the semi-darkness of the bedroom for the quasi-darkness of the living room, and here I sit, typing; her daddy just came home. As he opened the door, the fading light of evening framing him, she shook her head again, emphatically, and said, “I won’t pat Boo-Boo any more.”

And she’s right. She can’t. She was there, way back in December, four months ago, for Boo-Boo’s last moments. But where does this…this knowledge of the world, all this memory, come from? In my almost two-year-old?

“I won’t pat my Boo-Boo any more,” she said, minutes later.

No, my sweet girl, you won’t.