You burst into Monday morning as if finally escaping a lethargic weekend fog. Eyes open on a bright white morning, you mentally tick off school uniform components and lunch box ingredients before realizing that it is the Easter holidays and it will not be necessary to bribe your child down stairs with Cheshire soldiers under the grill. This cheers you up no end and you lie snuggled in so many blankets waiting for your little one to thunder downstairs and return with the cat in his arms, so they can both snuggle up with you and he can giggle as you squirm while Jimmy the teenage kitten goes in for the kind of face licking antics that makes you want to soak your skin in Dettol. This is your first day of the holidays tradition. And you are all too aware that the days when your boy will want to snuggle in Mummys sleepy arms are numbered and thus you must cherish every last minute...
The Spring snow still coating your back-garden is dazzling and you realize that your dreams of stringing out a new washing line and pinning piles of lavender scented laundry out to dry will have to wait. How odd to have the seasons displaced like this! It un-nerves you and you realize how much you have come to depend on nature playing ball, when she is clearly intent on showing you exactly who is boss and delaying the blossom of your beautiful chamelia for over a month and pushing the possibility of Sunday mornings prowling around car-boot sales deeper and deeper into the year...
Now you are pottering round the kitchen. The sun blazing through the windows and your potted hydrangeas nodding their white bodies in tune to the song you are singing so loudly your little one closes the kitchen door with a firm bang. You have become embarrassing and it delights you. You serve up jammy toast with a ballet dancers pirouette and laugh as he rolls his eyes when you do the polka back into the kitchen. This then is forty-one. Permission to do as you please. Permission soon to wear purple and spend the pension you won't have on brandy and Summer gloves.
You line a silver tray with a white cloth and pile upon it all the makings of tea for two. No tea-bags. No sweeteners. Not the cheats tea you often resort to mid-week. But real tea leaves and sugar in a bowl with an antique spoon. You climb on to the counter in the laundry room and take down the set of two Katy Potts tea cups your sister bought you for your fortieth birthday and hope the universe recognises this for the special occasion it is.
Then you stagger into the living room with your tray and use your foot to push enough books aside to lay it on the coffee table. Your son barely looks up from his X-box but it doesn't matter. You pour tea for the two of you and stir in sugar and add a little milk and place a teacup and saucer at his side.
Drink your tea, you say.
And he does. Holding the cup and saucer exactly as he should while regaling you with the vintage joys of Batman's wardrobe, certain that this is the only way to engage you in Superhero talk and delighted when you express a preference for a rusty looking suit of bats armour.
Some days you are absolutely certain you are making a good job of this Motherhood lark.