Last night Maeve howled in her bed. Finally I caved, and as I slipped into her room, she looked at me with wild expectant eyes -- she knows me. I picked her up and carried her around her small room. Then we sat. I wondered if her stomach hurt and thumped my palm against her back as she lay across me. She is longer than the chair is wide now, much longer.
The baby whose chin I cradled between my thumb and finger as her little body slumped against my palm in a soft curve -- she has grown by. The baby whom I could scoop into my bed and tuck under my arm to sleep for three more hours, looks for me, thumps her legs, wriggles north in her crib til her head is tucked in the corner, and cries hard when I close her door.
Oh, babies. Change, we know, sears us. But what about growth? The expansiveness of its nature, the health of it, the movement into depth or independence it requires, the way it transforms -- it is change, and its very goodness hurts.