It suddenly struck me today, as I was having a shower, that I am only ten years younger than my father was when he died. I was playing my number game at the time. Not when my father died, you understand, when I was in the shower. I do maths exercises in my head as I wash, always have, I think it just wakes my brain up. And there it was. I am nearly as old as my father.
Which is a bit daunting, when your brain has done such a good job of convincing you that you are still a teenager. An illusion aided and abetted by your habit of only looking in a mirror when you don’t have your glasses on, thereby creating a beautiful soft focus effect. And never when you are naked!! Alright, I will concede that I have been aware for a while that my feet have turned into my mother’s. Perhaps not quite as awful, she used to use hers as a threat. As in “If you don’t get that bedroom tidied up, I will put my feet on you!” We tidied. Those feet were terrifying.
Barely giving me a chance to absorb this fact, my brain then did one of it’s hyperlinks, and smugly reminded me how old my children are now. My oldest son is on the start of the gentle incline to thirty. My middle son is almost not-teen, and my littley, all six foot two of him, will be able to vote, drink, and marry with my consent in six months. Scary!! But it’s my daughter that I have been thinking about all day. She is only a year younger than I was when I first gave birth. That is quite frankly terrifying.
I was made to be a boy mum. I can do loud, smelly, bouncy, rough-and-tumbly. With loads of hugs in between. I love rugby, dammit! But I was overjoyed when darling daughter arrived. And immediately took over! Her father had spent the entire pregnancy impressing upon me how much he wanted a boy, and then promptly fell head over heels the minute he set eyes on her huge blue eyes, and strawberry blonde curls. It was a mutual adoration that continues to this day. As a toddler, she could not understand why I was allowed to share a bed with her Daddy, and if I was presumptuous enough to sit next to him, she would, dependant on her mood, either squeeze between us, or announce, in a lady bountiful manner, “S’okay, I let you.”
So here she was, my very own doll, to dress and play with. Except she had very different ideas from a very early age. By the time she was three, she was dressing herself, and styling her own hair. And staring in disdain at my attempts as her wardrobe mistress! Since she was born four days before my birthday (which has been forgotten ever since) I naively assumed we would be similar in character. I haven’t really believed in astrology since my daily forecast said I was at my sensual peak, when I was almost ten months pregnant, with raging heartburn. But still, I just thought……! Polar opposite is how she turned out. Which means our relationship has been ……. interesting!!
To Be Continued ……………….