Maternity leave.

Hugo and Maisie,

You are now three years old and four months old, respectively. A week from now, we'll face one more milestone in my journey of letting you go.

Hugo, we've talked about me going back to work in the quiet of the evening, when all you want is for me to rest my head next to yours on your pillow. I recite a mantra you've started to recognize: "we are brave, smart, and kind; we can do hard things." Sometimes we do the hard work in our minds, sometimes right at home, and sometimes in the world outside our door. This summer, I've watched you tackle new experiences and challenges with strength beyond your years.

Maisie, like your mama, you want to grow up quickly. You take on each new thing early, and you're impatient with basic necessities - eating, sleeping, getting dressed. I suspect that, like me, you'll need to be reminded that every moment of your life is a gift, and one worth savoring. I've rediscovered this every time you fall asleep in my arms or learn a new sound or look up at me with your big, toothless grin.

These are the things we've taught each other.

Here are some other things I know:
You have big, wonderful adventures ahead of you.
The ones I witness with my own eyes will be a gift.
The ones I don't, a story worth telling.

I will let you go and grow and discover all my life, because I love you so.

your mama

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