I'm in bed as I write this, bone tired after a 5am start to the day, weary with that kind of fizzy, adrenalin-dump exhaustion you feel after an emotional experience.
This week, Ivy has pulled out her first two teeth, graduated to a big bunk bed, and this morning she was incredibly lucky to be included in an on-stage panel with the Dalai Lama at the Young Minds conference in Sydney.
It's all happening so fast!
My little baby!
Ivy asked the Dalai Lama a question. 'My favourite book is Nim's Island,' she said. 'What is your favourite book?' He thought as he held her hand. 'I like books about space,' he said. Ivy was utterly tongue tied up there under the lights, big eyes taking in the cameras, the microphones, the huge audience, the smiling man in the big orange dress... She was so brave, so little, smiling her gappy smile and pulling nervous comedy faces. The Dalai Lama cuddled her. He sat her on his lap, and he held her head and blessed her. All the while, Keith, Ivy's two grandmas and I watched from the audience, bursting with pride as we clutched each other and told everybody in the surrounding rows 'She's ours! She's ours!'
For me, it was a rite of passage, of sorts. That was my little girl up there, having this profound and meaningful encounter, this experience that she will remember long after I'm gone. I felt the weight of time. The wondrous gift of being the guardian, the champion, the minder of a small human. I imagined the unexpected paths that Ivy might lead me down, and I felt so lucky to have the chance to be watch her life unfold, however it may.