Last night as I was tucking you in, I took your hand in mine.
It felt bigger than I’d remembered.
I kissed your forehead, stood and let your hand fall.
But as your fingers left mine, a veil of regret, or sadness or something came over me.
Maybe it was just the knowledge that even these quiet moments with you will not last forever.
We don’t hold hands anymore, Kate.
Our fingers don’t intertwine the way they used to.
Your little hand does not reach out for mine anymore.
You don’t let me hold your hand in public anymore.
So last night, I took your hand again.
I held it to my cheek and commented dramatically about how we never hold hands anymore and you laughed and said Moooom! in that way that you do.
Just like a teenager. I love that.
I looked away. I didn’t want to buckle…buckling would have been easy.
My back was to you, your hand to my cheek, and I felt it.
I felt it in my heart — the soft, silent buckling…the caving in…
…the painful, heavy beating of the heart of a woman whose little girl is growing up.
I love you more than life, little Kate.