There is a grief that runs all the way through motherhood.
The grief in going up to the loft to exchange the 0-3 month old baby-grows for the 3-6 month ones, the grief of withdrawing the breast and saying: “No more,” the grief of a child’s first day in school.
It is widely accepted that many parents need to grieve when their children leave home. “Why wait til then?” I say.
I have wept over a boy becoming so bonny and chunky he has to be moved from his Moses basket into a cot, over him becoming so independent he no longer finds it necessary to curl my thumb within his hand.
I am grateful to a friend who gave me this poem when I was puzzling over why something as good and natural as a child growing up should also be so poignant.
It is the kind of question that only a poet can answer. What better answer than this could there be? Walking Away by C D-Lewis.