In the course of one week Asher turned five, we sold his buggy and he started primary school. It's fair enough to say I'm suffering a wee bit of parental whiplash, though I have to admit: I'm not all that sad.
Yes, I miss the baby years.
Yes, I mourn the passing of time.
Yes, I am sentimentally saying goodbye to one phase of life - one that has existed for over a decade - and walking with trepidation and some fear and trembling into the next phase (secondary school in less than a year?!).
But as we tried on his uniform, I was proud. As we tied his shoes, I was so excited for him. As we walked him to his line and waited patiently for his teacher, I was beaming. He is going where he has longed to go for at least the last 18 months: to big school, with his brother and sister, and with a tie to boot.
And I've been waiting, too. Nearly 12 years ago I became a stay at home mom, nursing Jack for hours on end, a wobbly pregnant woman as we fearfully anticipated Ella's arrival, moving them to another country and learning new schools and creches and hospitals and birthing methods. Being a mom to the three of them, within the four walls (or occasional closet) of whatever home we found ourselves in, was my life. It is my life.
But I've been waiting, not for something more, but for something a bit different.
I'm a healthier person, a more patient mother and a happier wife when I have time to myself and white space around me. And I'm getting more of that now than I ever have before. Not too much, but just enough.
So no, I'm not sad. I'm wistful and melancholy and wondering who we will all turn out to be. But I am happy and ready, for whatever comes next... usually laundry and lunch-making. Now that I've three in school, my workload seems to have doubled.
Good thing I've got all that alone time, now.