I looked at my Tall Girl today, and she is so very tall; 14 years old next month.
I remember being 14, and all the worries and excitement of living new experiences. Everything then was very vividly indeed, life was brightly coloured and jagged with anticipation, like a Picasso painting, the world was waiting, it was all there, but nothing was quite in the right place.
And then I look at my Small Sprog, who is no longer small; in his last year of Junior School, yet still so very young to me. Sometimes I feel pity for him without meaning to. I don't want to pity him, yet he still seems so vulnerable in the big world around him.
I remember dreading telling him that his world was about to cave in around him and that everything was going to change. I had this awful image of his beautiful smile turning to tears forever. He was always such a happy child on the surface, born generous and smiling.
And then I looked at how far we have come, how far I have come. Two years ago we were living a different life, two years ago my lovely daughter was a pre-teen, we lived a boringly normal life and I was lost to myself.
Yet now I am strong, independent and free, if you ever can be truly free, especially with two demanding children. But I feel free. I have things to look forward to, a whole life to look forward to, my life and those who tangle along with me through it are all so very cherished. These days I have 'plans'! And the plans that I make, we make as a family unit, are not dismissed or put aside. I feel alive.
My Small Sprog smiles still, he has not lost the joy of living, though he has moments of distress, and he holds me tight and tells me he loves me. Always he declares he loves me more than I love him, no matter how much I protest!
My pre-teen is a fully blown teenager and full of teenage habits, yet she is strong and beautiful and has endured the last four weeks in plaster admirably and with, mostly, good humour. She is maturing.
Adjustments have taken place and a new reality exists, one that is so far from the previous reality that sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if it really is true. How did I get here? How did I make such a massive change in my life, our lives? I almost can't quite remember.