I saw a friend walking through the village this morning. She looked so different - because she wasn't pushing a buggy and didn't have any children hanging off her. She was striding, walking fast and confidently. I could tell that she was enjoying her moment of solitude and independence in the beautiful autumn sunshine. I could sense her savouring the freedom of only carrying one small bag, of not having to answer endless questions about why there were leaves all over the pavement.
We've just been through the horrible experience of losing our cat - thankfully he came back this morning. Yes, he's only a cat but he's part of the family and I've been reminded to take nothing for granted and appreciate all loved ones while they are with us. However, for a mother of three children, there's nothing as exhilarating as an excursion out of the house, anywhere, alone.