I shared this entry on Facebook a few days back, and it seemed to strike a resonance with lots of my readers, so I'm posting it here again.
When my daughter was a baby, often the only way she could get to sleep was to hold my pinky, her torch as she ventured into the dark caverns of sleep. As recently as last year she still occasionally asked to hold hands at bedtime. Then she stopped. A big girl. Unafraid. Tonight, quite unexpectedly, after lullabies she asked again. Her hand filled so much more of mine than it once had. The room was quiet and dark, as if we alone were tumbling through space. I felt her grip loosen as she relaxed into sleep. Finally she let go. But I held on. Just a while longer.