Around this time eight years ago I was walking across the fields with a tiny, properly tiny, Milla snug in a sling on my chest. I can remember that early Autumn air so well, it had the same gentle bite that caught my throat this morning.
In all honesty I was a bit lost back then. I adored being a mother, I wasn’t too sure if I was doing the best job, I felt like I had to apologise for myself, I had no idea how I was going to navigate being home for our children and not make us bankrupt. I spent so much time obsessing about every last detail, sometimes with good reason and others because my head was filled with nothing else in that way it is when you have very tiny babies.
It all came back to me this morning as I realised that the pre-school years are fully behind us. Betsy started school this month and has been doing full days for a couple of weeks now. I’ve literally been too busy to give it a second’s thought.
Eight years can pass quickly and slowly all at once. Those endless days which stretched out through the long weeks turn into swiftly disappearing years. The cliches, you realise, are cliches because they come to pass as surely as the new day dawns.
I’m not sure how I feel about this passing; I was both willing its end and yearning for the days before school this summer. It feels like just as we have created and met three people, we have grown into ourselves. So much has changed for us in the last eight years that I sometimes wonder if early parenthood is always a metamorphosis.
This has been a period linked forever with the most turbulent times in our careers (I hope). The worry, drama and drive that only a parent with children depending on a home and food can recognise punctuated these last few years. Despite extremes of stress, it forced on us the opportunity to create something bigger than we might otherwise have dreamed. We reach beyond the aspirations we once held for ourselves and work for a life that nurtures us all.
So here we are, eight years on. Three not so new people brought in the world and forging their own paths. A weekly scramble of deadlines, school bells and clubs which passes in a flurry. And the pre-school years are over.
PS – I know I should let that end and stand as it is but I really want to tell you about the picture at the top. The light and the smoke were just perfect but the children weren’t into having their picture taken. I tried to bribe them with lunch if they played along, but Milla still wouldn’t look at me. I was maddened and filled with pride.