Sometimes a moment comes when we realise the years have flown by. We have celebrated birthdays and are aware we are getting older but we rarely feel it… until we have children. As we begin to celebrate their birthdays and mark their aging we wonder, ‘how can we have children that age and still feel young?’.
Today I had such a moment.
I was visiting one of my closest friends, whose eldest daughter is one day overdue her baby, the first grandchild.
Before me she sat, excited and nervous in equal measure. I marvelled at her beautiful bump and imagined little one inside, soon to arrive into a large, loving family. Unknown to her, there was a moment I had to look away.
My mind had wandered to a beautiful summers day over twenty years ago. Two young mothers, not much older than this girl is now, drove to a city park for a picnic with two, two year old girls and a three year old boy. For what seemed like hours those little ones played on the slide. Two of the party racing to the top screeching in delight as they slid down. The third of the trio in much less of a hurry.
She was a blonde bundle of fun. Each time it was her turn she carefully climbed the ladder, stopping on almost every rung to look around, oblivious to the mayhem she was causing as the ladder filled up with impatient little ones pushing behind her. If her mum or I tried to hurry her, we caused a further delay, as she stood to smile and wave in our direction. Eventually, to the relief of the waiting queue, she would manage to sit down and push off, at no great speed. Having landed, she would amble pony tail swinging, to the ladder to begin the slow climb once more.
It is hard to believe this little girl is almost the age her mother and I were then.
As I try to get my head around the fact that I am no longer that young mum, equally I struggle to believe the small girl at the top of the slide is soon to have her own little one. Time marches on and this young lady now moves at a much faster pace. As I ponder her impending motherhood I hope she will enjoy the ups and downs of the years ahead, with the same enjoyment as she did that day so long ago, and that she knows her mum and I will continue to watch from a distance, just as we did all those years ago.
To that small girl at the top of the slide I say, ‘Best wishes sweetheart. Enjoy. I have no doubt you will be a wonderful mum” xx.