During career's interviews at school I lied and said I wanted to be an astronaut or F1 driver, however my memory is hazy, so I probably said something a lot more achievable, but what I wanted to say was that I wanted to be a mother.
In my early 20's I got my wish and had 3 beautiful babies, that grew quickly into 3 beautiful people
These are the yearly photos, this photo frame is one of my most treasured possessions, as it shows how my family grew, it spans from 1986 to 2004. By 2004 I had stumbled on a career path and built my own indie dyeing business, I had ambitions, drove my business and certainly didn't even think about the possibility of grandchildren.
My babies carried on growing and turned into beautiful adults, they still make me proud to be their mum every day.
Then just over 2 years ago my middle baby Daisy told me she was pregnant, even though I was over the moon and excited for her, I felt a sadness that I was now officially old.
As her bump grew so did my love for it, I felt the baby kick and watched it move, memory's flooded back of my own pregnancies. But I was terrified for her, because I knew what she had to go through to bring her bump into the world. As her mummy my job is to protect her and there was nothing I could do to save her from the pain.
As it was she had a horrible labour, much worse than mine, 24 hrs, 3 hrs pushing, a stuck baby that even the midwife couldn't pull out with forceps and an emergency cesarean.
But at the end of it she and Adam were the proud parents of Albert Theodore.
I didn't expect to feel maternal love for anything else as much as I did for my own babies, but as soon as I cuddled him waves of love poured out for him, it was almost as if he was my 4th baby.
We and his other grandparents are so privileged to live in the same small village as our grandson, Nanny Jo and I are good friends and enjoy each others company. I don't feel jealous of the time she spends with him as I know she loves and nurtures him as much as I do. We are both lucky to be such a big part of his life.
I see Bert most days (especially at the moment) and have watched him grow and turn into a inquisitive toddler. Its a completely different experience than motherhood, with my own babies I was too busy and too close to see each tiny development. With Bert, I can watch him learn, how to crawl, how to walk, how to talk etc He stacks duplo, reads books, plays with balls and loves dogs. This week he gave me a first hug, a proper intentional hug, which melted my heart.
I have a life when Bert's not with me, I can cuddle him and give him back, so I haven't given up my life for him. I've carried on working and published a book of baby blankets for Bert.
To have a career and a baby to love and cuddle is the best of both worlds, I look at grandparents with different eyes and am happy to be one.
Last summer Daisy became pregnant with Bert's sibling, (the due date is in 12 days time)
She has a gigantic baby bump and is struggling to walk, pick up Bert or do anything too physical. Since she went on maternity leave a few weeks ago we are spending even more time together than we normally do. I am just as anxious for her, probably worse this time due to her last labour, so I'm not really working, I'm too busy helping out with Bert and worrying about things I can't change.
I'm not even doing much crochet, I can't concentrate, I feel like my life is on hold, sometime in the next 4 weeks it will change when grandbaby number 2 arrives.
In some ways its worse than waiting for your own baby, at least you know how your body feels, all I can do is watch and wait to cuddle Bert's sibling, who will be loved and cherished just as much as its older brother.