We dropped Fuss off at the wife's gym last night for the curiously named 'Kids Night Out'- for a nominal fee they wrangle the little buggers from 5-9pm so parents can have a breather.
As we wandered downtown rather aimlessly (whatever your attitude toward small children, they provide an automatic laser focus for any public excursion- venturing forth without them becomes quite a disorienting experience) I spotted a father navigating the sidewalk with his small son tucked into the crook of his arm like a sack of groceries and realized with little blue spark of shock that I haven't had to carry Fuss anywhere for a while now.
It crept up to me on small bare feet as these milestones always do. Like the morning I noticed he'd been sitting in the chair next to me at the dining table all week, the high chair holding court by the bookcase suddenly superfluous & vaguely embarrassing.
These minor epiphanies are one of parentings main rewards- the point of the job is after all to raise a child, not keep one....but are still tinged with sadness at the loss of that child, who needed carrying up the stairs, or across the parking lot, the one who needed a sippy cup and a high chair, who needed you just a tiny bit more than they do today, or will tomorrow.