There are changes afoot, a shift in our daily gears. Maybe it is in part due to the deteriorating summer – the air is now chill in the mornings, the sun richer and mellow in the afternoons, the leaves starting to look towards the ground. The girl is off to kita – she’s doing her induction at the moment – and for the first time in her little life, and perhaps the most significant part of mine, we’ll be apart. My burgeoning belly is also a visual reminder of all that lies ahead, now impossible to forget or ignore. There are things from now – from this time before – that I want to remember, hang on to.

Her gangly frame, all limbs and enthusiasm, when she sits cuddled on my lap. Her little legs already dangle impossibly to my calves. Those same legs fearlessly climb, run, bruise, scrape, and one day – no doubt sooner than I expect it – won’t tangle with mine anymore.

The murmurs of the new baby; the whispers and wriggles and thumps, unexpected yet so familiar, a reminder that he’ll be with us so soon but until then, for this lovely last time, it’s just me and him.

The late summer lake afternoons, where she has learned to play by herself, fully absorbed in the movement of sand to water to bucket to hand (and, sigh, mouth). The occasional glance to me with a quick smile, the shimmering pride in her little face mirrored against the glassy water, the mountains, the sky.

The abandon with which she runs to her father when he returns home from work, her gasps of ‘Dada!’ shifting the focus of the evening. The giggles as the two of them play – way too energetically before bed time, but how can such a sweet sound be resisted? Her three ‘Swiss kisses’ as he leaves each morning, her cool, soft cheeks the sweetest of all gifts.

While the excitement for the next stage for our little family is mounting, it’s hard to imagine how we could be happier, fuller than we are now, to understand what this shift in our lives will bring. But life before her is unthinkable*, and even though it’s hard to predict how, there’s a comfort and security in knowing that in a few short months, these pre-fourth-Purler times will also become a distant, hazy, inconceivable memory.

*not strictly true. A sleep in every now and then wouldn’t go astray.


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