I have been waiting for this moment for what feels like so long. 7am on Saturday 22nd October 2016. The start of half term with my little crazy one’s. It has been a long six and a half weeks. A long time to spend more time than ever by myself. A long time missing them and wondering what they were up to. Wondering if they were happy and if they were thinking about me. It has been so long and now I get to steal them back for a whole week. I get to be the one that they come to when they have made a lovely picture, they get to come to me when they fall over and they get to remember just being us again. And yes, they will both fight. I won’t be able to provide them with a snack quick enough because they are ‘starving’. They…

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The Harvest Festival is one of my favourite school events of the academic year. I love the build up, of listening to the children singing and practising their songs over and over. I love it when they ask to teach them to me, to practice their lines, their part in such a beautiful assembly. An assembly with such an important message, about giving and thinking of others. The Harvest Festival takes me back to my childhood. It takes me back to the church school that I attended for my primary education. I can remember how grand and special our church felt, how small it made me feel as I sat their with my bright, blonde hair, having donated a couple of tins of soup, some baked beans and some rice. I was right about the church, years later, Matt and I were married there. I remember singing the lovely songs…

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All schools have that smell, don’t they? They all have a school hall, that you know the children think is huge. The school hall that when the children get older, will feel so small to them. They will wonder how they found the space for p.e. lessons, in their little gym shorts and plimsolls. They will wonder how the tables fit in. The tables where they ate lunch with their friends. Made memories. Grew too quickly. Last night, Matt and I sat in the school hall of our children’s primary school for parents evening. As we waited, we looked through our two beautiful children’s work and I looked around, imagining them here. Feeling thankful for the place that takes good care of them, brings out the best in them and knows them when I am not around. I started to feel a little nervous, as I always do. I played…

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To my sweet little Ellenah, Did you know that once upon a time, the thought of having a little girl absolutely terrified me? In a time when so much comes down to who we are on the outside… and comparison (the thief of joy) plagues so many. It’s a scary time to be a girl or a woman, let alone to raise one. It was hard enough when I was younger. People made comments about what I looked like, all of the time. I would return home from school on the daily and try to think of ways that I could make my legs shorter, ways to looks shorter…to blend in with the other girls my age. I would stare at my face in the mirror, for what felt like hours. Sometimes I would stare at it for so long that it would eventually distort my reflection and then I…

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I saw her black, patent shoes first. One still flashes. The other, only does sometimes. Her cheeky, little face peered around some legs and her eyes searched for mine in the crowd of open-armed mama’s. The mama’s waiting for their favourite, little humans to clamber bulkily out of the classroom door. Book bags and lunch boxes hooked over arms. Sweaters and cardigans scrunched up in to a ball in their sweaty palms. Ellenah held onto her things tightly and stepped forward hesitantly. Her eyes were open wide and lips pressed together, in anticipation to find me.  She shuffled on her feet, eyes scouting the crowd. And then our eyes met. This has quickly become my favourite part of the day. Meeting my little people again, after hours apart…Hours of being by myself, keeping busy and trying not to miss them. Anyway… Our eyes met again and within seconds, she was…

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