If we were having coffee and a chat today, I’d be feeling very much like reminiscing retrospectively over the past, because today my first-born turns 36…
It hardly seems possible that my beautiful little baby boy I can still picture so cleary cradled in my arms is now a grown man with a deep voice who towers over me (but then I suppose all my children have been taller than me since their teens). It never ceases to amaze me that in delivering him safely into the world at 18 after such a horribly long and tedious labour, I also delivered myself unceremoniously into motherhood, a role we keep for life.
That means that right now I’ve been a mother for pretty much two thirds of my lifetime – admittedly not always a particularly good one, but thankfully they all still speak to me so I must have got something right!
As well as my son I also have two daughters, both of whom are mothers themselves now, giving me three grandsons and almost three granddaughters – the newest one is due to be born at the end of this year. The most fascinating thing about daughters is that, as baby girls are born with all the unformed egg cells they will ever need already inside their tiny bodies, the dormant potential eggs that eventually became my potential grandchildren were already inside my daughters at birth, and so were inside me for a time too, like a real life matryoshka doll.
And I was saying to my husband the other day as I looked critically into the mirror – isn’t it strange to see ourselves growing older?
We are in some ways the same as we used to be, but decidely less solid and springy and smooth around the edges, less colourful, less vibrant than we were. Slightly faded and worn and more than a little threadbare, each like a favourite much-loved armchair. I’ve known my husband since 1973, and in my mind’s eye I can still see us as we were then, firm and fresh and full of life, facing forward to our unformed futures. Yet here we are 45 years on, with more life behind us than in front, and inevitably we carry the ravages of the past with us…
By now, of course, my coffee is cold and with all my ramblings I’ve probably not given you a chance to get a word in edgeways, so all I can do is apologise and promise not to do the same next week – if, that is, you choose to come back to visit! 🙂