This morning I find myself for the first time, alone at eight am.  K has always slept in after a late night, but not so B, who is six and usually (like her father), up at dawn, irrespective of bedtime.  We were late last night after a bonfire and barbecue on the beach.  Squeezing the last moments out of the summer holiday.

We’ve had several firsts these last few days.  K has cracked riding her bike.  I could not be prouder of her.  She’s a fierce little dynamo and is loving mastering new physical challenges.

B learnt to swim this year and is getting the knack of her roller skates.  she bought a skateboard with holiday money from Granny too, so is working on that.

School starts on monday, and although its only a short taster for Miss K, she can’t wait.  We are both frustrated by the staggered start which covers the first four weeks of school, doing random, changing 2 hour sessions to start with.  As a second child with a feisty spirit and sparky intelligence, shes fired up and ready.  And of course, B will be full-time from day one, leaving us lonely and bereft after a wonderful summer.

And I have a new job.  Exciting and interesting and challenging.  And one which I can work around school drop offs and pick-ups.  I’m thrilled and nervous and excited.  This is the next chapter for me.  The baby days are over (and I’m never going back).  This is occasion for massive celebration for me.  I will not be weeping at the school gates.

And lastly, two nights ago for the very first time, both my daughters wanted Daddy to put them to bed.  My heart squeezed tight.

I’ve always been the ‘go-to’ parent.  I’ve been lucky enough to be (mostly) at home with them most of the time, while D works hard in a challenging job.  Both my girls were very bonded babies and toddlers and being so close together (20 months), have spent most of their early years competing for my attention.

Every meal there’s a row about who will sit next to me.  Each bedtime, who’s ‘turn’ it is to have Mummy.   If we cuddle on the sofa, who can get closest.  If the big one is hurt, little fakes an injury too and tries to sit on me.  It’s been exhausting and really difficult for my husband, losing his wife under a pile of female angst, whilst being frankly rejected and dismissed in the way only children can.

So, although in that moment,  I felt a split second of gutty rejection, I also felt overwhelmingly freed. The next chapter is about each of us moving forward a little more independently, and we’re all thrilled, excited and most of all happy.