It dawned on me this morning as I was playing with Avery that parenthood is a series of holding on and letting go. She's crawling, pulling up, standing and cruising. Well on her way to taking her first major steps(literally and figuratively) towards independence. Each time I would put her down to explore, she would make sure I was near. She wanted to stand and do her thing with the safety and security of knowing I was right there. When I would try and walk away or accomplish some household task that I deemed important, she would crawl back to me and want me to hold her. She was telling me in her way to let the other things go and focus only on her. It's the curse of motherhood, finding a balance between all the things that need to be done and making the time for the truly important task of raising your children. As she approaches her first birthday, I am saddened that she is the last of our babies. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I could handle another, but knowing that these will be the last first steps, first words...I can't help but long for that tiny baby I held in my arms just one year ago. The one who I worked so hard to deliver but has given me nothing but joy since her arrival. I know you can't hold on to them forever and that most of my job is preparing them to be let go. I see Macie, Chase and Owen taking steps away from me every day and now Avery is right behind them. I hope when it's all said and done I've given them what they need to fly on their own even though all I really want to do is hold on tight.