Sitting on the slightly damp grass alongside the miniature sized baseball field, watching my three and four-year-old play tee ball, I am experiencing a feeling entirely unfamiliar to me: it’s a slight ache, a longing, a bursting of pride but with a tinge of sadness.

My children are growing up.

I have been waiting for this moment. I wasn’t in love with the¬†toddler years, from about 18 months to three years. They were challenging for me. I was eager for them to be over. The baby stuff, I loved it. This new stage, I’m so crazy about. But I struggled in between.

And now, they have past. And I am aching.

My babies are long gone.