It doesn’t happen all at once and that helps to make it easy.
The gradual pulling away, the hugs slightly less long, the more of “I can do it, Mom.”
It’s a beautiful thing to see these lives change and blossom into what they will be, growing into the people they are.
A gorgeous sight, when watching your child from a distance, when they’re not aware you can see them. Watching them hold the door open, pick up the dropped pencil, run to catch up with their friend on the walk into school.
To not only see them grow, but to see their spirit come alive in doing something they love.
To watch them run after the ball, sweat on the brow, captivated with the thought of being the first to reach it.
To see them lying on the sofa, swept away in a tale of wardrobes and lions and white witches, one hand behind her head, the light from the window catching the blonde in her brunette.
This life holds such small moments. Moments to grasp. Hear the song playing in the background. When it comes on again, I’ll remember this moment. I will remember her small knee peeking out of the blanket, her cheeks with still a little bit of round.
They were never mine to hold forever, but to usher them into this life and show the wonders it holds.
To show them beauty, the vastness, the experience waiting to happen.
Holding all of the love in my heart, pushing it out to her as she walks to her classroom, watching her right toe turn in as she goes.
And as if she knows, the unexpected turn to look at me, and smile, and “I love you, Mom.”
That is what to hold onto forever.
I love you, too.