Cait’s sitting on her favorite seat in the house — me. As she’s done since she was a baby, she brushes the hair back from my face with both her hands so she can see my whole face.

“Mom!”

“What?”

“You’re getting white hairs!”

Cait has announced this with some alarm. As though, for the first time, she’s realizing the clock’s not standing still.

“You can’t get old,” she adds with a hint of worry in her voice.

I joke, “I’m not getting older, I’m getting better!”

“Just don’t get any older, okay?”

“I’ll do my best,” I say.

Fast forward a few days. For the first time, while petting Kiera, I notice that she’s gotten some white hairs around her eyes. I think, When did that happen? As Cait doesn’t want me to get older, I don’t want Kiera to get older. I don’t want to move any closer to the day when she will no longer be in my life.

As if reading my mind, Kiera hops up, twirls, and runs to the door, letting me know it’s time for our walk. Today, she wants to run the whole way. She clearly still feels young — as young as I feel (we share the same age in dog years).

We both come panting back into the house. Cait’s glad to see that I’ve still got it in me. I’m glad to see that Kiera still has it in her.

Yes, I think, we are growing older together, but we’ve both got a long way to go before we are old!