My daughter saw her cousins this weekend. She has two: sisters - one a couple of years older and one a few years older. She sees them from time to time and when she does, we don’t see her. Suddenly, we, her parents, who still do everything for her: who dress her, because she won’t yet dress herself, and take her to the toilet, because she feels more comfortable there in our company and on whose shoulders she lays her fraying chestnut curls when she is tired; suddenly we are no longer the most important people in her life.
It is a window into a future time, when she has gone (or we have gone) and she no longer idly strokes our faces or bounces on our laps or gorges herself on a bedtime story with thumb in mouth and head hard against us.
The window shuts with the end of the weekend. But a faint chill remains. I’m ready, although it’s a skill that is not yet needed.