It is late and I am sitting here with my laptop on my knee and a cup of chamomile at my side. After a lovely giggly evening, a friend has just left and the house is still reverberating with laughter: the garden twinkly with fairy lights and the house sparkly with love. Though it is past midnight I am not tired. Goodness did you just read that? For the first time in heaven knows how long, I am not tired! It is quite the oddest feeling to be alive again: a something worthy of champagne and celebration with friends and family gathered... but there is no champagne, only tea and no one but me and a darling little boy asleep upstairs -friends and family no doubt already tucked up in their beds.
This feels like the old me: committing my own private little celebrations to the screen like this. The only sound in the living room, my own fingers racing across the keyboard and the snore of a tiny lady kitten more dependent on me than I ever remember my own son being: he who was borne with a fierce sense of self and a mild intolerance for a Mummy who loves him so much it sometimes feels as though her heart might just burst through her over-ample cleavage...
It is late. I should go to bed. Perhaps then it is a sign of getting older, this resistance to the pleasures of lavender scented sheets? This urge to squeeze every last minute out of the day and mark the clanging of the church bells at midnight? Suddenly I am possessed by the urge not to waste a moment: to seize the day and linger on into the night, dwelling and smiling and staring at all that I have created: my son, my house, this life...
I am scared of ageing. To the horror of everyone I know I keep dallying with the idea of having Botox pumped into the lines that have burrowed their way on to my forehead: as if vanity could deplete the trauma of the last few years and make me whole again. As if frequent dalliance with a cosmetic surgeon would be anything other than a foolish exercise in self-delusion!
A preposterous idea if ever there was one!
And so here I am instead: blinking into the flicker of a honey scented flame and resolving to make the most of what is: to spend entire evenings lost in sheer gratitude for a house that hugs me and a little boy that adores every wrinkle on my silly face. To face my middle youth with dignity and screaming, giggly laughter.
To wear my wrinkles with pride and force myself up the apple and pears to bed. Sweet dreams my darlings.x