The year 2012 has been big - the nation celebrated a long weekend in June as the Queen celebrated 60 years of reigning. My father is retiring. My husband turned 50. I'm staring down the final days of my 30s. Our twins are turning 5.
And they're starting school.
I'm not upset about them starting school, in fact it's the opposite - I'm breathtakingly happy. I'm beside myself. I'm delighted for one simple reason - this is it. This is what I've dreamt of. A tiny village school for them, one with the most amazing Reception (1st grade) classroom I've ever seen. There will be football and school plays, there will be fayres (a.k.a. "fairs" for my American friends) and homework, there will be a Christmas bazaar and there will be pencil cases and rucksacks. My little babies are growing into little people and I am exhilarated by the ride.
Their future has started to arrive and my pessimism is kicking in. How do I protect them? How can I reach my arms out and contain all the members of my family, keeping them safe? Is there any need, even? I panic over these things and yet there's no indication I should. It just changes so fast - jobs can be lost and we can go from gainfully employed to seriously not. Or my love of dystopian fiction could come true, and we will battle mutants over the last half-gnawed chicken leg. Or when there's bouncing in the bouncy castle, and it goes from hysterical laughter to tears.
I have always known that Nick and Nora are the only children I will ever have. It's never occurred to me to think otherwise, let alone to let my neck tighten, the air to pass over my vocal cords, and the words "Honey, I really want to talk to you about having another baby" occur. There was finality to their arrival, a line in the sand of years of tears.
The doors are closed and although I look back on their baby years with a fierce joy tinged with regret (hindsight, and our knowledge that we would do things differently if we had another chance, will always be part of our hearts and minds), I am very aware that there will be no further wee people smelling of milk and sick and the future in this life.
And I think that's why it seems so momentous, this school thing - I am happy about it (and they are ecstatic) but I also feel like this is huge, this shrugging on of the school uniforms and starting a new journey. I am completely ok aywith their being potty trained, but I miss those days of bouncy chairs and frequent naps. I love that they have sparkly opinions that we get to debate but I miss them falling asleep on my chest.
In one week, the twins start school.
They are ready for it.
It's me that is incredibly tearful over it all.