Violet’s grandmother told me that when I returned from my trip, I’d be telling everyone how different Violet looked - how much she’d grown and how much I’d missed. I didn’t expect it to be true, but yesterday, when I topped the stairs and turned to look next to our kitchen table, there was Violet sitting in her high chair, waving her arms up and down, babbling, and assaulting her toy flamingo. She saw me and froze. A quizzical look passed over her face, and I stared back; a very surreal feeling came over me. Violet didn’t just look different, she looked like a different baby, a different person. For the briefest second, I wondered if I’d come into the wrong house. This was followed with the terrifying thought (which for some reason had not occurred to me while I was away) that Violet might have forgotten who I was. She let out a few, hesitant whines, and then, a wide smile blossomed in what I hope was recognition. I gave Linda a good kiss hello, and then picked up Violet. She kept looking to Linda for the next several minutes, as if for confirmation that this smelly, hairy person was who she thought I might be. I had to keep holding her out and taking in another view of her, as if my brain needed to confirm that this larger and more dexterous baby with the bigger personality was indeed my baby. I didn’t realize how much I missed her, or how much I missed, until I came back.