My oldest Noah turns four on Sunday.
So many people had said to enjoy your kids when they are small as time passes in a flash and, at the time I was in the midst of teething, endless nappies and hours of crying and I thought time had stood still - I honestly thought they were bonkers.
Fast forward to today as I sit here and type this looking at his baby pictures and it feels like it was only yesterday that I could snuggle him in my arms. It is only now that I truly understand what people were trying to tell me; the last four years have flown by and sometimes I feel like I have missed out on precious moments and that maybe I should have snuggled him for a bit longer.
I am so happy that I have a happy, healthy, smart and funny little boy but the more the years passed the more I realise that our children are only on loan to us. One day in the not-too-distant-future they will leave the warm nest and venture out into the big world and make lives of their own and that we will end up trying to snatch pockets of time with them.
I have encouraged independence from an early age as I believe it is good for them (and me) however, I do curse myself a bit now when I see him pouring his drink or zipping up his coat as I can see his need for me slipping away.
I am, however, holding on tight to the fact that he wants to sit with me and talk about lego and that he still wants to hold my hand crossing the road.
This is the part of parenting no one prepares you for; the ache in your heart when you realise that they are growing up and that they will need you less and less.
For now, though, I will embrace every hug, kiss, lego-building mission and chats about tractors.