Do you ever have moments when you seem to be outside yourself looking at your life and you find yourself surprised that THIS is you, your life...wondering how this all happened?
Of course you know how it happened. Because you lived it.
But sometimes in the living, the busy living, the hectic pace, you don't actually see.
And then suddenly your little boy walks away from the car in a suit and bow tie.
Bam. Focus hits right when you least expect it and you SEE your baby is a confident, social young man in the home stretch of his school career.
It left me a little breathless.
Last night I picked up my girl from the ferry and we walked into a restaurant for dinner. I recognised the hostess immediately.....from when she was a toddler....I hadn't seen her in nearly a decade. I didn't say anything to her but a few minutes later her parents walked in. Their shock at the change in Lindsay, the fact that she was at University, brought the passing decade into focus again.
And as Lindsay and I chatted as we had dinner, drove home, went for walk, it left me in no doubt this daughter of mine is growing into a smart, thinking, compassionate adult.
My children will be 17 and 19 in 2016.
It's cliched to ask "how did that happen?" though that very thought percolates through my head very, very often.
The thing is I know how it happened. I was there.
And I did my best to pay attention while it was happening. To be present, to make memories, to guide, to care to feed , to love, love, love.
I have this very clear memory of once watching a family, in an airport I think, of two parents and three older teenage, early 20ish kids and thinking how cool that seemed. To be a happy family with such big kids. How far away, impossible and remote it seemed from my life at the time.
And now I imagine if someone saw us we would look remarkably like that family (minus that 3rd child).
So I guess as I sit in my quiet house this Saturday with a puppy snoring at my feet, as a birthday approaches, I am feeling at once the slight tinge of regret at how the years do seem to pass quickly, how the small changes sometimes elude us and then suddenly come into focus as big changes...but more than anything I feel truly, deeply grateful for this life I have been gifted.
The kitchen is messy, the laundry needs doing, I should be cleaning the floors but when my beautiful girl wakes from a much needed sleep in her bed we are going to go out, and walk, and drink coffee and hot chocolate and eat and shop a bit.
Because we were given today.