I visited a friend today, to cuddle her newborn daughter, Ava, and commiserate about breast-feeding and broken sleep.
Though it has been years, and I do not yet have grandchildren, old habits came back and I basked in holding a small body that breathes with every muscle, not from just the lungs, but from knees, tummy, temples.
When Ava squalled, my instinct was first to hand her back to her mother... then I realized that this is exactly when the mum needs a break.
This is life: the time when are diminished and need respite is the least likely time we take it, and often the least likely time we receive extra cosseting from those who love us.
It's so easy to hand the fussy baby back.
With Ava in my arms, I recalled days when I'd go into the laundry room and weep from frustration, remembered the sweet peace when the crying would stop, the dread when one or both of my twin sons began again.
I sat with my proud but hollow-eyed friend, and assured her that the crying diminishes, your baby thrives, and your friends can take some wailing.