This morning I woke up to hear little hands playing with lego in the next room. I did not wake up to a sleepy-head face staring at me with ‘lets cuddle’ eyes. Or a little body nudging me over sneaking into our bed for an early morning cuddle.

So, this is it, I thought. This is it.

He isn’t doing that anymore. Hmmmm. And the other day my daughter left for school without us. I had told her that we were running late; That if she wanted to get there on time, she was welcome to leave a bit earlier.

And so she did. The boys and I got out the door minutes later and of course I rushed them so that we could catch up to her. So that we could walk together as was the tradition. But before we did I looked ahead and saw a young girl, a young lady, really.

Walking up ahead. Independently. Competently. Just like she will do every day next year on her way to middle school. So, this is it, I thought.

This is it. Tomorrow my mother’s house no longer becomes my mother’s house. The title will be transferred. The keys handed over, It has been emptied. My sister has her stuff and I have mine – beautiful relics that help us to feel our mother’s presence a bit more.

But the house, that dear old house where life happened for our family of 3 for so many years. Always open to friends. Dinner parties. Christmas. Sun filled breakfasts in pyjamas. Studying chemistry with my best friend. Boyfriends. Creaky stairs. Broken fans. A run down washing machine. Tears. Laughter. Good food. Summer evenings on the backporch.

Hugs. So many hugs. Well that dear old house that held us all in so much love. It’s being handed over now to another family. This is it. As with everything else…The end of an era.

There were so many years that I wanted to sleep in without interruption. That I dreamed for a Sunday morning lie in. That I complained about the lack of bed space, the lack of shut eye. And there were so many moments I pushed Mia towards more independence,

So I could deal with the smaller kids. A mother’s time. And now I want it all back. But hey, all we have are those memories. The recollection of those moments. In my good moments I am present enough to create those moments.

To take the cuddles when I can, To notice the little-ness of their hands, Or the innocence of their questions. And I am grateful for these moments for the clarity of mind I have to be present in them

Wholeheartedly present.

Because, you see, I was not always so present. And I am still not always present. I stress easily. I get lost in the small stuff and when the overwhelm kicks in or the to do list begins to own me. These moments simply don’t happen.

And so because my biggest fear is to relive years as a mother without such moments (as I did long ago when my first two were babies) I hold the intention of clarity of mind and presence of heart with me. Always.

It means keeping my mind sorted, my actions aligned with priorities and keeping myself well. Well enough to be here in the now. In the this-is-it. “Alexandra [pronounced Alehandra]”, my mother would say, “change is the only constant.

I know, Mum, I know.

But letting it all go isn’t easy.

And then, as though she sends an angel to my side, My middle boy walks in. He asks why I’m crying.I tell him that I am thinking of Abuela Marta’s house

That I will miss it. He touches my heart and says. She will always be here, Mom. He then offers me the gift of a hug, The gift of a moment.

With love and through tears,