In which the author realises she is actually a parent

It’s a funny business this raising of children. One minute they are gurgling at you, lying helplessly where you left them and apparently 3 minutes later they are going to school.
My sister in law has just delivered her third child, her longed-for daughter and it has been a joy to meet her this weekend. I had forgotten just how tiny and fragile newborn babies are, their thin little limbs, see through skin and doll-like fingers. She is still tightly curled into herself, more animal than human but with that delicious, evocative smell.

I know it’s a trite cliche that all parents trot out but, as I sat there with Erin’s bottom in my hand and her head in the crook of my elbow, I watched my own, enormously tall, 4 year old daughter running round like a wild bear with her other two cousins and wondered…Where did you come from ? My husband could fit her, lying down, on his forearm, when she was a newborn.

I am surrounded by my friends, all first time or second time Mums whose children are all starting school this September. The uniform is bought, name labels lovingly sewn in, the book bag bought, hairstyles practised and school meals forms neatly completed. I feel as if we are walking towards a precipice, from which there will be no return to our old lives but I am thrilled skinny to have a school age child and I cannot wait to rediscover the world through her eyes.

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