We stroll into the store. I reach down for your hand, but you swat it away and confidently head toward shoes and accessories.
We tidy up the bedroom, and I gather your dirty clothes. You take them out of my hands and carry them over to the hamper.
We finish dinner, and I bring a washcloth to take care of the mess. You pick it up and wipe your hands and face, and then the table.
We sit on the couch together, and I ask for a hug. You pat me on the back, smile, and climb down onto the floor.
My squishy little blob of a baby doesn’t live here anymore. I’ve never been one for nostalgia, but it appears that, ever so suddenly, I have a very small capable adult on my hands. I’m not ready to stop loving her like she’s little.
Mama, you know I love you. Right? You’re in my top five favorite people, along with Daddy and Kitty and Jackdog. I think you’re very smart and pretty and special, and I love you.
But it’s time for you to stop.
Now that I’m a big kid, I can do things myself. I’m ready to explore the world around me, and I think it would be best for everyone if I did that alone.
Don’t cry, mama. I appreciate everything you and Daddy have done for me. You’ve loved me and taken care of me, and more importantly, taught me to fend for myself. You encouraged me to walk, taught me how to dress appropriately for the weather, let me discover how to feed myself, and showed me how to construct a rudimentary lathe. I should be fine in the wilderness.
This is it. This is farewell. I love you, Mama. Give my best to Daddy, and please kiss and hug all my plush friends for me. Don’t forget blankie. I’ll see you on the other side.
But just because I’m curious, what’s for dinner? Macaroni and cheese with bacon and peas, you say?
On second thought . . . maybe I’ll stick around.