I find the moments lately to be like tiny pulls in a sweater, as the even surface of my life shifts. The girls are growing faster than my heart and mind can bear— first days of school, thank you’s from a baby and the burgeoning countenance of a young woman. I trace my finger over the pulls, the once taut weave of helpless and able now loosened, ability mounting and futility rising.

I want to hold things back, keep the teeth from springing, the strides from lengthening. It’s hard not to feel them pulling ever closer to the day when they’ll parent their own children, turn doting eyes upon lovers rather than parents. I watch the lines upon my face, the smudges of age on my hands and the unwelcome sensation of wanting to rest and I know that it is beyond me/

They are my babies, that will not change, but my chest aches with how everything else is destined to end. Nursing, holding, fixing.

I’ve made no secret of choosing to see joy in this blessing of life with three girls. I find myself clasping Sean’s hand, laying my head on his shoulder and whispering, “They’re beginnings, right? Not endings?”

These pulls in my sweater are new stories, new loves, new ways, but at their start, they are my babies. My life.