Wendy Best They grow up so quick
When my first child was born – I couldn't quite believe it when people told me: "Enjoy it while you can, childhood doesn't last long."
Gazing at my newborn through sleep-deprived eyes, I couldn't see the following week, let alone 18 years hence.
But, boy, do I now know what those people meant. And if you're expecting or just delivered – savour every moment of your next 18 years.
Until suddenly independence arrives. Yes there have been flutters of independence – nights out with friends, school trips, sleep-overs – or rather no-sleep-overs.
However, true independence arrives with a jolt; it's been building up stealthily but you don't realise it and then A levels are taken, results dished out and then it's the next step.
Be it university and leaving home; jetting off to travel the world; or getting a job, a car and working, which is what my eldest has done for a gap year.
And it's quite a shock to the system for me, not her.
I remember worrying about my children as youngsters but they were simple worries compared to now.
Then, it was over things like would they make friends at school, were they eating the right things or were they safe wherever they were playing.
Now it's been replaced by will she arrive at her destination in the car she's driving herself; will she budget her monthly pay to have enough to buy fuel and pay the rent; will she, when out on the town until the early hours come home safely.
In actual fact she should be fine with all of the above; after all, we were, as I keep having to remind myself.
But it doesn't seem 14 years ago I was buying blue and white checked uniform dresses for primary school and sewing those endless labels on every item from socks onwards.
Or tucking her into bed and reading a story, watching proudly as she was a star or an angel in the school nativity, helping her to write her name or even her Christmas letters to Santa. Now she is still up after I've gone to bed, or trying on my clothes for her first evening business function. This chapter in life is taking me some getting used to.