Recently, things have changed. Adam is now the age Emily was when we decided to try for another baby (and instantly became pregnant). Nine months from now, Adam will be the same age Emily was when he was born. I'm not quite sure how we got here so fast.
There won't be another pregnancy. At least not as long as I can help it. But just as things were "easy" enough when Emily was this age for us to consider shattering any calm and predictability that had finally settled in our lives by adding a new baby to the mix, Adam is now at a similar stage.
But this time, I get to ride out the calm. I get to do some things for me. As much as I hate to acknowledge that my babies are growing up, I finally get to relax - properly - for the first time in almost four years. I don't quite know how to do it any longer; that word - "relax" - hasn't quite been part of my vocabulary for some time now. But I'm learning.
I've started going to the pool, after hours. Once the children are in bed, I wave goodbye to David and head to the community pool. There's something insanely serene about swimming in an outdoor pool after dark. I swim some lengths, badly, but I don't care. There's no one I know around, I'm there for me. I'm there to do some exercise, I'm there to relax, to swim at my own pace, to breathe in the night air and not need to hurry home, knowing the children are sleeping and safe with their father.
For the first time in years, I get to do something for me. And it's a set up that works, so I hope it will last.
And I find myself wondering, again, why I haven't written here in so long. And I have started to think that maybe it's because a chapter in my life is ending, and a new one beginning. I no longer have any babies. I have a child and a toddler. I am at a point where I am starting to remember that I have an identity, and it's not just limited to being a mother. The era of a smidgen of freedom has arrived.