Today you are ten months old.

I feel like I'm on a tricycle at the top of our driveway and any minute now the downward slope will let gravity take over and the pedals will be spinning faster than I can manage and two more months will feel like two seconds and I'll find myself at the bottom of the hill, in the middle of our cul-de-sac, smack dab in the center of Toddlerdom.

I suppose month six should have felt like the hump in the road of Year, but it didn't. It wasn't until just about now that I suddenly realized that your Baby is nearly over and I cannot even begin to tell you how sad I am. I mean, I'm really, really happy that your Baby is nearly over so that we can keep moving forward and get to the talking and running and playing and exploring. For sure. But I will forever miss the Baby. Just promise you'll let me hold you every now and then, OK?

My money on you learning to walk was on last week. We were in Hawaii hanging out with a few kids so I thought you might take a pointer or two. You did. While we were there you started taking a few steps on your own, and the other day you walked from the chair to the couch - complete with a wobble and recovery midway - but then you dropped down to crawl the rest of the distance because we came home from vacation and your tripod crawl is gone. So, so gone. You blaze through the house now. To the point where I can no longer keep up. The other morning you got out of bed and took off. You were circling the kitchen before I made it into the room.

And the other night you didn't nurse to sleep. I rubbed your back and legs and feet and occasionally your hair, but not too much since you don't seem to like it, but it's so soft I can't help it, and I think I drifted off before you did. Which is some sort of parental badge: Falls Asleep Before Child While Putting Child to Bed.

And then the next morning you went with me on a walk in the -gasp!- stroller and took a nap in it and everything.

I can barely keep up.

Pretty soon you'll be telling me you don't now and never did like pineapple smoothies, Mom, DUH.

Winter is really hard on me. It always is. I think it is for most people. So I feel like I've been less present this last month. But I say that, and then I realize that you, too, have been less present. You have really started to wean, in more ways than one, and it's shown up in our day to day routine. For the first time I feel like I've been good enough, not the overachiever. Simply, good enough.

I miss you. I miss how close we've been over the last ten months. I've held you almost every moment of every day. It's what mamas do, it's what babies need. But now that you're practicing walking you're really starting to move away, and it's good timing and necessary and natural.

But, still, I miss you.

And now it's my turn to wean, as well. As you descend down to the Earth, out of my arms, I'll find myself again. There are many things I've put down to be with you and all those things have been patiently waiting my return. There are paintings to paint, quilts to sew, dresses to design, meals to be cooked, a garden to plant, work to be done, and a man to reconnect with.

I miss your papá, too.

As you begin to morph from baby to toddler, our relationship will follow suit and I think that's the hardest part of parenting: Once you think you've got it down, it all changes.

One day you'll be a toddler and change will become your worst enemy. In fact, most adults never grow out of their toddler-fear of change.

Change is scary. It makes people uncomfortable. It reveals flaws and holes; it pushes boundaries. It puts a kink in what was once a smooth system, a system made to work even if it was broken or unsustainable.

But change is how we make progress.

And I'm not afraid of progress, I'm just trying to keep up. So keep on, keepin' on, kiddo. I'm right here.

I always will be.

Happy Tenth Monday.