There was the hour when raging with fever they thrashed. The hour when they called out in fright. The hour when they fell asleep against our bodies, the hour when without us they might die. The hour before school and the hour after. The hour when we buttered their toast and made them meals from the four important food groups— what else could we do to insure they’d get strong and grow? There was the hour where we were the spectators at a recital, baseball game, when they debuted in the school play. There was the silent hour in the car when they were angry. The hour when they broke curfew. The hour when we waited for the turn of the lock knowing they were safe and we could finally close our eyes and sleep. The hour when they were hurt or betrayed and there was nothing we could do to ease the pain. There was the hour when we stood by their bedsides with ginger-ale or juice until the fever broke. The hour when we lost our temper and the hour we were filled with regret. The hour when we slapped their cheeks and held our hand in wonder. The hour when we wished for more. The hour when their tall and strong bodies, their newly formed curves and angles in their faces and Adam’s apple surprised us— who had they become? Hours when we waited and waited. When we rushed home from the office or sat in their teacher’s classroom awaiting the report of where they stumbled and where they excelled, the hours when they were without us, the precious hour we did not want to lose each year even if it meant another hour of daylight.