Growing Up and Letting Go.

Fin is going to walk the mile home from school today on his own.

Even as I think of him with his rucksack and school shorts, chest puffed and proud smile towards the world, my heart flutters with the beginnings of loss.

Each new stage of growing up is both triumph and bereavment. My milk skinned darling, who sits in my lap and lets me kiss the fuzzy nape of his neck, will broaden and grow tall and step out on his own journey without me.

My heart swelled with admiration when Fin popped through our bedroom door this morning full of plans, having checked the weather for the week and worked out his route home to the step. "I feel really ready for this new independence!", he said breezily, as though it were really rather nothing at all. Yet I could see the excitement making his restless feet twitch, to be on with the day and getting to the part where he walks home on his own.

I marveled at his rich vocabulary and excellent choice of words. This baby, who I have fed by breast and fingers and spoon, is such a person in his own right that I can hardly believe the alchemy of it all.

I can't wait for three thirty, when I see his face at the door, flushed with achievement - and still get to gather him up like a long eared rabbit and snuggle while he tells me about his day.

x x x