In September, our firstborn will be flying the nest.
OK... we're a long way from her really flying the nest... she's not even 3 yet, but for the first time, my little girl will be spending significant time away from her family.
She's starting Nursery Class.
Our little lady will be heading off every morning to school, and I'll be joining hoardes of Mother's throughout history, watching my baby girl walk into that classroom with a lump in my throat...
Where did that time go?
Wasn't it yesterday that that little wriggling body was placed in my arms; that we brought that baby home, shell-shocked and uncertain, and wondering if we would ever be able to give her all she needed?
Wasn't it yesterday that I stroked that downy hair while our little bundle quietly gulped in the small hours of the night to an otherwise silent world?
Wasn't it yesterday that we fed her those first mouthfuls of pureed carrot, her little lips blowing raspberries and staining everything in sight?
Wasn't it yesterday that she took those first tentative steps as we stood, across the room from each
other, holding our arms out as our little girl waddled backwards and forwards between Mama and Papa to cheers and whoops and clapping galore?
Wasn't it yesterday that she told me, as she snuggled into me before bed, that she loved me, for the very first time?
Wasn't that yesterday???
It feels like it. And slowly, I am understanding all those times those lovely old ladies have stopped me in the shops, or on the bus, or at the petrol station, and told me to cherish every second because its gone in a flash.
It IS gone in a flash.
And suddenly, with the opening of one envelope, I realise how right they are.
These years are so precious. They are so formative. They are so vital.
I must cherish every second. The beautiful memories... but also the hard ones. The middle of the night wake-ups, the constant messy trail following your tidying, the constant noise, the incessant flow of questions...
Because one day, when the house is spotless, and the rooms are silent, and my babies really have flown the nest, I'll wish I hadn't moaned about it so very much...
(Photos courtesy of my fab brother, Alex)