He stood on the counter holding onto my shoulders to steady himself as he watched Jon spreading cream cheese on his bagel. We chatted about how tall he is getting. Our big boy. Lately he has seemed so much like a toddler, a child, rather than a baby.

Less than an hour later we were handing him off to his daycare teacher for the first time. He clung to my leg while I filled out paperwork. All of a sudden, he seemed so small.

In his 354 days of life, I can count on one hand the number of times I have been away from him for more than an hour or two.

I swallowed my second thoughts, put on a smile, and waved a cheery goodbye as he looked back at me with uncertainty.

(Ah! My little baby! How can I leave him?!)

“I love you, baby. Have fun. See you soon.”