You do your best, and the reward is an uttered "Mama" or "Papa", and little hands reaching up for you who they trust implicitly in a moment of need. You know then you're doing all you can to make them feel safe. Countless hours on a floor that reminds you of your age and their protests and screams, but finally sitting up without your help because they can do it now. Pulling themselves forward, faster and faster towards his favorite toy. He peers back to make sure I'm watching, impressed. I am, little cub, so proud. Even faster and faster still. Giggling all the while. Reaffirmed in your hard work, your patience and immeasurable love, despite any shortcomings you may have worried over all those early months. You're fulfilled.
You know the days are numbered before these little lives will belong more to the world than they do to you, in the way they do right now. But if you've done your job, that's exactly what you want.
And all that really matters, is right now.
In honor of my Barrett Leo on his first year, we say: "Hooray", "Hooray." We love you. Happy birthday/ Joyeux anniversaire, our baby boy.