Throughout what they call parenting, there are many staging posts when you lose a little bit more of your children. Most feel incremental and merely conjure a rather short-lived affectionate sentimentality easily archived for some mythical reminisce in the autumn of years. But some junctures arrive as roughly hewn shocks to the family routine. They may creep up from the sidelines, they may just walk right in. You initially feign normality, but quickly realise the change. Handled impatiently, they quickly become mountains to climb. Acceptance and incorporation of these transformations coupled with attention, time and energy inevitably pay better dividends. Preparedness lives in words but deeds follow slowly. Parenting can be described as many letting goes and the fragile balance of holding on just the right amount. Every child has to have an ever present something to pull away from. And so parenting can be encapsulated as maintaining that tension.