It is the eve of my teeny, tiny baby boy’s seventeenth birthday. Seventeen.
First of all, I cannot believe, nay simply am incapable of believing, that it has been THAT long. Dammit, where has all that time gone? I always find myself asking this question on this day each year. It’s a serious question, one that I find that I actually want an answer to.
The first thing that I start to think about is the very minutes, no, the seconds and even the nano-seconds that tick-tock-tick on by – how many times have I watched the clock in these past seventeen years and wished it were such-and-such a time? Time for lunch, time for the concert to begin, time for the sun to come up or go down so I can get THAT photograph? How many times have you done that?
How many times have I stood in a bus/taxi/tram/train/airplane queue and wished the time would come when I would be sat in the relative comfort of the assigned transport and be speeding my way to wherever my destination was?
How often have I been baking a cake/pie/delectable morsel of loveliness and sat watching the seconds tick over, salivating at the thought of what was to come? How often have you done that?
How many term plans have I made in that time? How many weeks have I counted down to the end of term – twenty-five more get-ups, ten more get-ups, two more get-ups until the last of this interminable term finally comes to an end and I can crash into my little bed and sleep the morning away? How many times have you done this?
It seems to me that we spend our lives waiting for things to happen. Waiting for the newborn baby to smile for the first time, to see our face in proper focus and recognize us. Waiting for that first proper gurgle of giggles that shows us our precious offspring has inherited the family sense of humour. Is there anything in this world more precious than this? We wait and we wait for that moment and when it inevitably comes it is such a fleeting, brief moment of pure ecstasy that is gone so quickly, but it was THERE, just a moment ago.
I choose to remember and celebrate these moments when it comes round to the eve of the birthdays of all three of my wonderful children as well as my gorgeous grandchildren these days.
Just a moment ago.
Just a lifetime ago.
Happy Birthday Toby – with all my love x