Fern isn’t a baby anymore.
I can’t quite put my finger on when it happened, or what the last step was that put her over the threshold from infancy to toddlerhood. Was it when she accidentally shifted weight while standing in the kitchen, and realized her potential for upright mobility? Was it when Grandma taught her to have a tea party, flinging the door wide on her imagination and introducing her to her own creative power? Was it her first night in a motel room, when she cackled in hysterical glee in the new found knowledge that there are other rooms with other beds and other remote controls (Other remote controls that Mommy and Daddy immediately removed the batteries from when CNN blared out at top volume and neighbors pounded on the wall)? Was it neurological development supported by playground exploration and slide conquering? Was it the igniting of her own teeny maternal instinct upon adopting her family of 6 tiny wooden gnomes?
Or was it the development of a more adult palette, while relishing that tangy zip that is garlic veganaise?
Put you in my pocket memorize your smell bury my nose in the fuzzy down on your head capture the sound of your voice before your mouth shapes words love love love you tightly in this moment and this one and this one keep you keep you keep you and then….let go….