It's the eve of my little girls' first day of school. I should be in bed already but I know that if I was I probably wouldn't sleep. I should go to bed, though, because in the morning I have to get up early and get dressed and fed. And dress and feed other people. And, most importantly, get out the door on time. Because, for the first time in months, we have somewhere to be.
All summer we have lounged around in the mornings. Stayed in pyjamas until whenever. Eaten breakfast in the garden and second breakfast on the sofa. We've had lazy picnics and played with friends and stayed at home when the rain came. Which it did. Quite often.
Over the past few days I've noticed the days shorten. I've been surprised, in the evening, when I've looked out the window at the darkness where, only a few weeks ago, there would have been light. I've noticed that the leaves are beginning to turn too. Green fading to gold. New suddenly old. The mist on the hills spells out Autumn-time...
|L-R: Sábha, Lile at three-weeks-old.|
I can't get an image of them as tiny newborns out of my head. They were sleeping side by side as I filled out the school application forms five and a half years ago. Their frail little bodies huddled together under a pile of blankets despite the spring warmth. I sat with the paperwork and felt ridiculous that I was even doing it. It seemed laughable that these tiny little babies would ever be going to school. It was 2010 and I was happy if I could get through one day at a time caring for my babies. 2015 was impossibly far away. Impossible to even imagine.
Except that now 2015 is here. And it arrived in the blink of an eye.
Every time I looked at my little ones today, butterflies danced in my stomach. Every time I picture them walking through the school gates tomorrow morning, in their shiny new shoes and pristine uniforms I feel hot tears pricking the back of my eyes.
Part of me is afraid that once they've walked through those gates, I'll blink again, and in another instant they'll be grown and full of knowing things that I haven't taught them and full of teenage mystery and full of other things that, right now, are impossible to even imagine.
But... that will be 2023. Which, tonight, seems like a ridiculous number... laughable that it will ever exist.
|The inspiration for these can be found HERE|
So for now, the night before the day that big school begins, I'll tuck the little love hearts I've made to comfort them into their cardigan pockets. I'll also tuck a wad of tissues into my own pockets and tomorrow morning...
I'll kiss them and wave them off and try my hardest not to blink...