Ella is six now and becoming a young lady, something that's surprised me as six still seems to me a little girl age. She's still very much our girl, but I'm aware that the time where we, the family, are still the most important people in her world, well those days are numbered. Friends, peers, their influence, or their importance is becoming more noticeable.
That awareness of change in turn makes me look to Leila, who, although 3 years behind her big sister, is turning 3 at the start of next year. She will start kinder two days a week and I'm aware that my days as a mum of young children, well they won't last forever.
Walks to school where one is walking beside you, wanting to hold your hand most of the time, except when they're balancing on stone walls. Walks take a long time because you have to stop to pick overhanging flowers at every other house. On the way home from school a dear friend joins and we stop to read in the park and eat our afternoon tea. My company is a part of all these expeditions, I'm a part of it, and I'm aware that won't always be the case. I'll always be loved, I hope, but I won't always be needed as I am right now.
For some this means time to start thinking - perhaps we should have one more baby ..... but that won't be the case for us. I'm turning 40 in a few weeks and although loving a third child is an absolute given (we know now we do good work), for me, for us, that's too old to be starting that process all over again. That doesn't mean I don't feel a little sad for the loss of that time of my life, of the pregnancy, the anticipation, the falling in love all over - but the hard work and strains on our time, I know my limitations.
So, instead, I'll try to remember these moments, hold on to them tightly and love them while they are still mine to share.