Wednesday 27 March 2019
Look what the painters left behind last month! Our treasured pencil marks charting the kids’ heights over time. This year, they record the meteoric rise of Small Boy (AT) from the smallest to the tallest person in the house. Yes, he is now even taller than me!
I’ve had a great day working at home, and am actually feeling more on top of my workload than usual, when Small Boy bursts through the door. I am astounded by how ravenous he is. He simply can’t stop eating! As he pauses for breath, having polished off two bowls of cereal, a bag of nuts and raisins and some left over sticky toffee pudding, we chat about his upcoming school trip – singing in Eurodysney with the school choir.
“Any chance of some new black trousers for the concert, Mum?” he asks.
Glancing at his school uniform I can see what he means. His trousers, new at Christmas, are now hovering in a distinctly ‘half-mast’ fashion above his ankles. I decide I don’t want the Eurodysney crowd thinking that he’s turned up to audition for the part of Oliver Twist and add ‘school trousers’ to m Thursday after-work shopping list.
“Can you just stop growing for 5 minutes!” I shout in mock-exasperation.
Small Boy grins and twirls me around the kitchen, before racing back outside to his basketball hoop. And I am left all alone in the kitchen, rooted to the spot. I’m not thinking about work anymore, because all I am thinking is that he won’t stop growing. None of them will. And soon life is going to start changing for us, in really significant ways. My eldest is already planning visits to Uni Open Days and into my head flashes an image of the day when we head out as a family of 4 to drop her off and return as a family of 3…it makes me feel utterly panic-stricken. A momentary desire to stop time and freeze it right here and now, with us all together in this happy little bubble is palpable. But of course that can’t happen and I actually wouldn’t want it to. It’s the start of the exciting future, freedom and independence I dream of for my kids and a reality all parents have to face at some point. I’m just not at all sure it’s one I’ll be smashing with any kind of dignity and without an awful lot of tissues ….