Bonfire night. One of those annual rituals that seem to come around more frequently than once a year, somehow.
I've become so acutely aware of the passing of time recently. Sunday night saw a local firework display - the same one we went to last year - and, again, we trooped down the road to ooh and aah at the bangs and the flashing sky. As I watched my little family ducking out of the rain, hoods up, sweet upturned faces illuminated by the colours and lights, I felt a pain in my heart. This is all happening too fast. There is such joy in seeing them grow - little by little, micrometer by micrometer, breath by breath - and yet such bittersweet sorrow.
There have been many times I've urged them to grow up faster, to become a little more independent, a touch more civilised. But now I'd be happy to hit the pause button right here, right now. Just a bit more time with my tinies.
It is the rituals that pull this feeling into sharp focus. Halloween, Christmas, birthdays: they are all markers as clear as pen on a height chart. A clock ticking. A countdown. It is almost unbearable.