What am I most worried about? Is it that I don't know the parents well enough or is it that I'm just not ready for this new found independence? The not knowing what he is up to? Am I being over-protective? Am I unwilling to set my children free a little? (yes probably all of the above)
Attending your first funeral is strange, almost surreal. Speaking at a funeral is even stranger, and as someone who has never practised a faith I almost felt like a fraud. Speaking the words of God, as it were, was a peculiar experience, but I'm glad I did it.
My daughter stood on my scales last night and I admit; my heart broke a little. At two years old she knew what she needed to do to weigh herself. Like most behaviours it was learnt, and it was learnt from me.
When I was growing up, we had a timetable of classes that we had to stick to, now we have a schedule that we supposedly create, but really are often at the mercy of our children and partner's plans. How can we put the things that we really want to do in the schedule and make sure that we have time for us?
That was seven years ago. I always felt that by now I would have had my three. That the gap would be smaller. That my family would be complete. And now on the verge of turning 40, I am beginning to have to question my younger self. If she was here now, this younger self of mine, I would be having quite a debate with her I can tell you!
You are busy, responsible working people with full and exciting lives and serious jobs, and yet you come into my living room and make up dances with my 5 year old as if it is the most important performance in the world. If you're not in them then you've watched them. Countless times. You jigged my firstborn around for me. You jigged my second born around for me. You jig my baby around for me.
I am standing on an unsteady conveyor belt, clutching 5 crystal glasses in one hand, the other is stretched out to catch a priceless bottle of red from smashing to the floor. On my back is one child, and on my front is the other.
Above all, be ambitious. Be as ambitious for children and young people in care as you would be for your own. Map the route from broken family home to high achievement in business, academia and the arts, and make recommendations that will bulldoze the road blocks along the way. Now that would be an inquiry worth waiting for.
A scream follows a thud. Then the crying comes. I step into the room and observe today's carnage. I sport three titles today, as parents do the world over - criminal investigator, referee and arse-kicking prosecutor with washing-up gloves on.
What followed was a lifetime of health problems, mainly prompted by a leaky valve in the heart which had been discovered at the meeting with the insurance company's doctor. In 1996, my fragile but hardworking heart literally began to break - and it was to do so twice over in the coming years, both physically and emotionally.
If kids understand that people in positions of mighty power can lie - and lie epicly on a gargantuan scale - what does that mean for their understanding of authority, the law, the concept of trust, and, god help us, integrity?
We are also blessed that we have a large but close extended family. My brother's house was less than 100m from mine; my parents house was even closer. Thus, our kids were in and out of each other's houses, and we never needed paid babysitters.
As I watch you, I get this feeling of melancholy. Stop growing up so fast already. I need you to be little, I need you to be my babies for a little while longer. I am not going to lie. You wear me out. You tire me out. Mothering is hard. But despite that am I enjoying all that motherhood has to off
I transitioned over 20 years ago. When I left, my ex took out a restraining order against me which forbade me to make any contact at all with my children until they turned 18. They were 3 and 1 when I left. It was probably the most painful experience I have ever endured.
One of the first posts on my blog was 'Stuff Daddy Does to Annoy Mummy': a list of the annoying habits your partner suddenly picks up, or rather always had, but you no longer have patience for after you welcome your first child.
Hitting the snooze button and mustering the strength to get up and have my morning shower was once what I considered a struggle... wow was I wrong! The idea of hitting snooze and then taking a peaceful shower is something I can only look back on with pure nostalgia.