Her first full day at kindy collided with a day off work for Daniel.
The five of us walked the very short distance to school. She swung between us, by our hands while the other two raced ahead.
We dropped them off in age order; the first classroom barely a wave, the next a shy cuddle and the last... play dough, puzzles, a drawing and tight arms around our necks.
Then, just the two of us.
Meandering home, mostly quiet, lost in our own thoughts.
I'd been waiting for moments like these.
Imagined days that seemed so distant, where we'd have time to date again, I'd have time to be me again, and my house would stay clean.
I've watched mama friends with the freedom to get their hair done, flit from one friend to the next for morning teas during the week, and drink coffee at cafes without wrangling small humans.
And today over a quiet brunch, drinking my still-warm coffee and enjoying the space to people watch, I felt the lump in my throat rise with the desperation I've been trying to swallow.
What am I going to do?!
I was in a public place, I tried not to be shrill. I tried to contain irrational emotions.
I took deep breaths and wondered why I couldn't be happy without an action plan, without a to-do list, without purpose.
And that's what it was. I suddenly felt like I was lacking purpose and it knocked the breath from me till I felt like I was turning blue.
He of course is never ruffled by my panic and offered his usual calm discernment.
Enough for me to think clearly enough to tell myself that my validation doesn't come from motherhood. Or anything else I do for that matter. My identity isn't wrapped up in what it is that I do, whether I have a degree or not, or how well my kids do at school, or how many activities they do after school.
And as much as stepping into this new season is terrifying, I can walk bravely.
I don't have to have it all figured out, and written before me in dot-points. I just have to trust.
And then my heart stopped racing, and I remembered what Brene Brown said about faith;
Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.
This season is new territory. There are parts of me that mourn the old, comfortable season. There are parts of me that panic at the thought of the new. And the rest? Clings on to a faith that ensures I can be certain in uncertainty, and believe for things I can't yet see.