I would stop the clock awhile, this afternoon. They are growing too fast, these children of mine. The baby gains an inch a day, and my boy - thinner of face and less liberal with his smile - is stretching out of trousers at a rate of disbelief. In the first year of his life, I cheered and willed my son to grow. Ever impatient for what should come next - eager each moment to reclaim - through his growing independence - control of the independent life I had abruptly lost.
It is entirely different now. The sand flows through our timer at the speed of Formula One. Stop. I am cherishing it not enough. Too busy with our daily routine I forget to photograph my girl. In a gallery of shots where her brother is the star, my daughter is conspicuous and striking - in her absence from the wall.
Joy of my baby son is strongest in retrospect, too fraught and anxious at the time in my new, ill fitting frock of motherhood. But I am aware these days - these nights when I put my daughter to bed - that this is but a fleeting moment. That like my own mother, I shall pause to look about myself and question where the years have gone.
Capture these days as best you can for they shall slip through your fingers in a flash. My photographer friend has a picture on her wall. A moment in time where her schoolboy and his toddler brother throw pebbles on a beach. A dozen shots or more, to best glimpse the essence of an ordinary day. To record for life a fleshy cheek, the slant of a shoulder and the curve of a shin. And the sea - their eternal backdrop, dominant in our geography and lives.
We are grounded here in the woods. Roots, happy in their soil, grow a son and a daughter stronger by the day. Yet the future dictates a move - from floor space affording not the option to remain. So a freeze-frame if I may - pause, stop and option to record. Lest the memory fade - of a happy house, in a lovely place - where children walk in woods, run in fields and sleep well. Under pitched roofs, tall trees and the blackest starlit sky... x