Three weeks in the UK with nothing as planned, a “T’antie ‘Elen” visit recoddling us at home, and a house fitting right into that name. Health in the forefront, joint families on our minds, roses again blooming in the gardens around here. Coal fires heating upward, onesies and fluffy blankets and cold winds cutting park times just a little. In the days and nights and mornings (4.30am again, really?!) when all other stuff takes a backseat to babies, there’s been a twinning of toddler adventures. New worlds (dinosaurs and ‘Gwanma’s house”), first words (“up!down!” “down’tairs!”) and higher heights (“up baby, go up! Oh no! baby! Stop baby peeeeeaaaasssee down!”). Longer hair multicoloured tones, new gnashers turning vegetarians into ravenous beef-lovers. Warm tubs of water and umbrellas and wellies, soapy bubbles twenty fingers, ten toes. Paint and painting and climbing down slides and dancing to every faintest-heard beat. Own bedrooms, shared movies and sitting at our own breakfast table. Temper tantrums, toothy smiles, cool hats and kissing noses. “You’ welcome” “love you” “good morning”. Has it really been six weeks gone already?
Not so long ago before children came into my vision I couldn’t get the insular thing. I didn’t understand how, and much less just why you could know the names of every vehicle Bob knows yet not the detail of the coming elections. I couldn’t see why you’d let perspective change so that news-reading time slots would be unquestioningly reassigned, to dinosaur-land prep for the following morning. Not so long ago I could not understand that shifting your focus to playdoh and tiger-art was less moving from issues of importance, and rather immersing yourself in your most important. Now. I had no way of knowing that instead of looking out, that the best part of right here is locking in. What I hadn’t realised is the leaves your kids pick today won’t dwarf their fingers from tomorrow.
Nor that “I put my glove on myself, Mum!” would be the single best headline I’d read.
It’s ok to press pause for a while.