You are still so small. People are always asking me how the little ones are and my standard response is ‘Enormous!’ but really, you are still so small. I read stories about all of the harm that can befall children and my breath catches. Injuries, illness. Friends’ babies who went to sleep and just didn’t wake up. Friends who are desperate to see their babies reach adulthood, who worry about the impact that the death of a parent will have on their developing minds.
Children who step outside of their homes and are never heard of again.
Trusted friends with nefarious motives.
One rogue cell that multiplies.
An accident. Just an accident. It could have happened to anyone.
A million and one ‘if onlies’ waiting to happen.
Blink and everything is different, forever.
You are still so small. And the world is so big. And every time I pick up a newspaper some other mother is grieving. It could happen to anyone. Today. Tomorrow. Next year.
You are playing in the water and you are still so small. Three times your birth weights but no bigger than a well-fed cat. Small enough to share a bucket of water with your brother. Small enough that we need to hold on to you lest you slip under. Small enough to swing up in our arms and hold close to us to dry.
I want to watch you grow up, but not too fast.
And I don’t want to know how your stories end.